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Arabian Adventures

PRE!

D20 System and the D20 System logo are Trademarks owned by Wizards of the Coast and are used according to the terms of the D20 System License version 1.0. A copy of this License can be found at www.wizards.com. The Open Game Content in this book includes game rules, character and creature statistics, and similar material using the D20 system. This content is denoted by its placement in

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Introduction

32

Children of Fatima

32

The City

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ ~ _ _ _ _ _ ~ ~ ~

Introduction
Dark, shadowy sands stretch forth in every direction, illuminated by cascading waves of light that faintly brighten the night sky. It is cold, but, when the sun rises, the heat will be enough to peel the flesh from a dead mans bones. Against the stars, a carpet sails across open sky. T h e faint chimes of bells resound from a city that lies somewhere beyond the next dune. N o matter which direction you choose, the sands stretch on without end, a bleak reminder that this world is a harsh one. T h e dunes of the Endless Sands stretch from horizon to horizon, filling every view with their empty majesty. This is a land of darkness and danger, where flying carpets sail above the tortured sand and where wishes can be granted with the wave of a caliphs hand. Some wishes, though, are best not spoken, and some dreams are too dark to reveal. These are the lands of legend, but they are n o childrens tale. They are far darker, filled with blasphemous magic, evil ghuls and djinn, and tyrannical wizards and sultans. Like the desert itself, the world of the Endless Sands may appear stable, but it is a shifting, dangerous place and one not to be entered without a great deal of caution and a little bit of luck.

T h e Endless Sands hold a small portion of arable land within a wide semi-circle of desert. Warrior-kings rule with iron fists over brilliant cities, djinn swirl magic like glasses of wine, and crumbling ruins dot the forbidding landscape, beseeching the adventurous to come and explore. Transport is by foot, on camel, or, if one is extremely rich, by horseback. Weapons are bronze, and steel is prized above gold. Adventurers may meet and talk with gods, be confronted by the King of Djinn, or fly above the ground on elaborate carpets watching as the world of mortals hurtles along beneath them. This land holds strange magic, dark sorcery, and a cabal of secretive viziers. Monsters roam the ancient desert, born of the Queen of the Gods: dragons, giants, sphinxes, and other halfhuman creations threaten all those who dare the distant sands. Wizards are feared, priests are half-worshipped and half-detested, and a war of religion threatens to tear apart an ancient kingdom. Diabolic evils hide beneath pleasant faces, and flesh-eating creatures of magic can appear for the night as beautiful harem girls. Every pleasure has a danger, and most prices are too high to preserve a mans soul. Although many role-playing games have touched on this portion of the Arabian Nights, few have gone to the source of the myth and portrayed the desert lands as more than a simple backdrop for casual adventuring. ENDLESS SANDS offers background and history, adventure hooks, Character Classes and Feats, and everything you need to run a complete campaign within a Dark Arabian milieu.

Sands

of
Genera1 Dangers
The country of the Endless Sands is hot, sticky, and contains many high mountains.

T h e Endless Sands are lands where myth comes alive, and where darkness is a salvation from an eternally scorching sun. Against that lie the true dangers of a desert land filled with religious strife and political turmoil. Cities are the only shelter against the empty desert, and water equals power to those who are thirsting to death in the sun.

T h e fictional culture of the Endless Sands draws on a combination of ancient Morocco, Middle-Eastern Persia and Antioch, and the lands of mystery outlined in the ancient tales of the Badiya people. Cities are dominated by the strong, and the weak must do whatever they can in order to survive. It is a harsh world, but if you can master it, it can be paradise.

Altitude Sickness Yedja-alit is a high city built on a mountain overlooking the sea below. Lack of oxygen does not affect all those who live in the city, but tourists unused to the high altitude may find themselves suffering from light effects such as headaches, lethargy, dizziness, and difficulty sleeping. Altitude sickness typically only lasts while the body is acclimating to the unusual conditions, and will go away with rest and a few days of time. Mechanics: Characters entering high altitude for the first time must make a Fortitude Save a t D C IO. Success indicates the character acclimates just fine. Characters who fail, suffer I point of Temporary Constitution Damage and are Fatigued for Id3 days, after which, they have acclimated. Full rest will halve the recovery time. Heat Exhaustion Dehydration and salt deficiency can cause heat exhaustion. To avoid it, one must drink sufficient liquids and avoid the direct heat of the sun. Overcoming it requires rest. This sickness is characterized by fatigue, cramps, severe or blinding headaches, and muscle cramps. If not treated, it can progress to a heatstroke and incapacitate an individual for weeks. Mechanics: In very hot conditions (90 degrees F), characters must make a Fortitude Save every hour per the rules for Heat. The DC is 1 5 1 for every previous check made (before escaping the heat). Those who fail take I d 4 points of Subdual Damage per hour until they reach shelter and suffer from being Fatigued. In extreme heat (110 degrees F), the Fortitude Saves must be made every 10 minutes. Subdual Damage is

An Overview ofthe Land


ENDLESS SANDS presents a fictional country based o n Arabian mythology. This brief introduction gives an overview of its geography. T h e land is explored in greater detail in Parts I and 2.

Basic Geography
T h e Endless Sands are a vast desert, surrounded by ocean t o the north and west and by high, barren mountains to the distant west. T h e northeast zone of the desert extends in a vast wasteland from the Dhakyah mountains t o the hills of al-Emmour. Although much of the Endless Sands are blistering dunes, the northeastern part is rocky with steep mountains and a pronounced relief except for a few scattered wells. It is habitable, but only barely, and only by tribes who are proficient in finding water and hoarding their food despite the burning sun. There are caves that plunge deep into labyrinths beneath the mountains, offering ample space for tribes t o wait o u t the short rainy season.

Water
T h e second (and smallest) portion of the Endless Sands is made u p of six rivers and a large inland sea. These make up the only water sources for the entire vast desert, and those travelers who do not follow the rivers courses will quickly find themselves dying of dehydration deep in the ocean of sand. Two of these rivers never swell aboveground, but only twist deep beneath the land. They can only be accessed by dowsing and digging. Two more are upland rivers, but they travel very near the inland sea, and the water is brackish (though palatable). T h e others have
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General Dangers (cont.)


Heatstroke This serious and occasionally fatal condition can occur if a persons body temperature rises to dangerous levels. Long, continuous periods of exposure to high temperature and insufficient fluids can lead to a severe heatstroke. Symptoms of heatstroke are nausea, lack of coordination, severe sweating and eventually delirium. It is not unusual for someone suffering extreme conditions in the Endless Sands to come down with heatstroke, and this condition, if untreated, can be fatal. Eventually, the victim will hallucinate, suffer convulsions, or collapse. Mechanics: Any character who becomes Staggered as a result of Heat Exhaustion begins to suffer from Heatstroke. The character suffers I d 6 points of Constitution Damage, Id3 points of Dexterity Damage, and is Nauseated. Every hour, the character sustains another Id6 points of Constitution Damage until treated.

mixed courses - sometimes above, sometimes below - and are often changed in their course by occurrences both above and below the sand. These two rivers, known as the hidden lovers, are sometimes impossible to find, and sometimes reappear miles from their originally charted course. T h e inland sea is known as the Bitter Ocean (or, in the native dialect, the Cailo Cahno). It is the largest body of water in the Endless Sands, but, like any ocean, it is salted and completely useless as a source of drinking water. It does have fish and some plant life that is useful, but it is quite possible to be o u t upon the Bitter Ocean in a fishing boat and paradoxically die of thirst. In autumn, two large wadis (depressions in the rocky terrain where moisture gathers during the brief rainy seasons) provide water sources for wandering tribes. These locations are sites where large Badiya cities spring up for a short period of months, while the wadis are full. For those months, the area is a viable trading center with merchants, traveling tribes, and active commerce. Then, as the wadis dry up, the cities disperse and crumble back i n t o their wandering Badiya tribes. Due to the high temperatures, the water quickly evaporates and never reaches the sea.

To save the victim, he or she must be gotten out of the sun immediately and then immersed in water or wrapped in wet cloths. A Heal check at D C 20 is needed to counteract the illness, thereby stabilizing the character and beginning the healing process.
Prickly Heat Prickly heat is an intense rash caused by excessive perspiration against the skin. Wearing metal in the sun can often cause it, and it makes such armor unwearable unless the rash is treated (a condition which takes as long as a week). Talcum powder can assist, but even then, armor cannot be worn more than two or three hours a day, and certainly not in great heat without the rash returning even worse than it had begun. Mechanics: Characters wearing armor or heavy clothing in the sun for four hours or more must make a Fortitude Save a t D C 15. O n a failure, he or she contracts this malady. Affected characters suffer Id3 points of Dexterity Damage and cannot wear armor or heavy clothing. It is simply too uncomfortable. A Heal check at D C 1 5 will arrest the disease. Because it is caused by clogged pores, che skin must be washed. Talcum powder helps as well. Ointments and oils exacerbate the disease causing another point of Dexterity Damage. Until the infection is arrested, the character must make a Fortitude Save every day (again at D C 1 5 ) to avoid taking an additional Id3 points of Dexterity Damage.

The Deep Sands


T h e third area of the Endless Sands is the Deep Sands the dunes and whispering plains of sand that stretch o u t in every direction around the few permanent cities. T h e Endless Sands are tremendously large, stretching for thousands of kilometers in every direction, and dissolving into the sea at the edge of the continent. Badiya tribes wander through the desert in droves, searching for oases that rise and die within the sandy wastes. As the hidden rivers below the ground rise, an oasis might be born and, with it, a small city formed around the water source. These are guarded jealously, and it is a sign that a tribe has incurred disfavor with the Gods if the oasis thus formed turns o u t t o be temporary.

The Inland Plains


T h e final distinct terrain feature of the Endless Sands is the inland plains and smaller sand dunes. T h e ground is permeable, retaining some of the autumn rains for long periods of time and allowing wells to be drilled that give relatively long-term sources of water, which in turn allows small cities or towns t o be built. However, these cities are never permanent. There are many ruined ones deep in the Endless Sands that once depended on such wells. Eventually, the water dried up completely, leaving the area uninhabitable and empty

T h e largest nation in the Endless Sands is n o more than a loose confederation of four cities surrounding one vast inland sea. Although the seawater is completely unpalatable, three small underground rivers feed into the ocean, providing valuable water sources to the cities that cluster around the oceans edge. This nation is known as al-Maghrebia, and i t is large and densely populated. If there is a country within the Endless Sands, it is alMaghrebia, and i t is ruled by the iron fist of a dictator placed - so i t is said - by the gods themselves. The nation of al-Maghrebia is a fascinating and bewildering place full of contrasting images, exotic sights, and unusual experiences. All those who have come to i t have done so either by barge down one of the two large rivers ot through the Endless Sands themselves - both dangerous and harrowing journeys. Long ago, al-Maghrebia was known to the outside lands as the Land of the Farthest Western Sun, and it was told that her vast deserts were created by the Sun walking over the land o n the way to his bed at the edge of the Western Ocean. Because alMaghrebia is far to the west of any other civilized land and completely surrounded by desert o n every side, an ancient tale claims that, as mighty Ahuramazda (the Sun) came close to the end of his daily journey, he n o longer had the strength to hold himself aloft in the sky. Because he was too close to the ground, he burned the earth day after day until the lands of al-Maghrebia became a wasted desert with n o water and the aching heat of the sun always reflected in the sands below.

Al-Maghrebia at a Glance
Ruler: Grand Sultan Jardin Qued Abdullah
Saluman ibn Ibrahim al-Kharajah

Area: 172,414 sq mi (Land: 172,327 sq mi;


Water: 97 sq mi)

Population: 2,645,305 (average annual rate of natural increase: 1.8%); infant mortality rate:

48.1/1000
Climate: Seasonal with cold, dry winters while summers are extremely hot with temperatures reaching 130 F and coastal humidity causing fog, mist, and dew.

T & :

Desert on the outskirts with arable terrain along the edges of the two upland rivers (the Tingris and the Mezsabhar) and along the northern coast; one below-ground river (the Djemmah Fatima); a massive inland sea (the Bitter Ocean); three small mountain ranges to the north; and coastline to the far northwest.

Natural Resources: Phosphates, iron ore,


manganese, lead, zinc, fish, salt

Land Use: Arable land: 21%; permanent crops: 1 %permanent pastures: 47% forests and woodland
20%; other: 11%

Capital: Quehabat, pop. 820,000 Largest Cities: Ma-Hallam, 402,000; Yedja-Alit 264,000; Diralt, 2 1,000 Monetary Unit: Dirham Languages: Maghrebian, Jann, and Tribal Common Religions: JaIlam 75% Ahuramazdan 20%, Other 5% Agriculture: Barley, wheat, citrus, wine, vegetables,
olives, livestock.

History
Much of al-Maghrebias history is lost to legend and mystery, shrouded by strange magic and natural disasters that tore apart the ancient civilizations around the Bitter Ocean. Archeological evidence from the deep desert implies that, many thousands of years ago, the desert around al-Maghrebia was filled with plants and animal life, but rainfall fell off dramatically after some ancient cataclysm, and the land turned to waste and sand. T h e history of the nation of al-Maghrebia is that of her four great cities, which stand by the side of the Bitter Ocean. They are Quehabat, Ma-Hallam, Yedja-Alit and D i r a k Within the past two hundred years, these four cities have united to form al-Maghrebia, but prior to that, their histories were their own. T h e political and social

Industries: Phosphate rock mining, leather


goods, textiles.

events leading to the merging of these independent cities into one nation evolved from interior instabilities. Only in the arms of fellowship could all four of them survive the dangers of the Endless Sands.

Government
Al-Maghrebia is divided into four wilayat (provinces), each of them centered around one of the four large cities that dominate the coastline of the Bitter Ocean. These territories are not equally divided; Quehabats portion is

significantly larger and contains a majority of the Sultanates resources. The provinces are each subdivided into eight prefectures (the city of Quehabat is made up of five), which are further subdivided into quidates, under the direction of Qaids, who operate much like mayors or independent governors of small portions of the city or territory. Qaids (pronounced kay-dz) are appointed by the leaders of the prefectures, who are known as Emir. These Emir have complete governance over their territories and are responsible for the actions of the Qaids below their authority. The powers of the Emir and the Qaids cover legal issues and even extend into clerical and religious matters on occasion. They completely control their areas, arrange for taxation, and allow or disallow immigration as they see fit. Lesser governmental officials known as moquadams are responsible for bookkeeping, walking the street and keeping order, and other duties. They are the most commonly seen arm of the government, and their tasks resemble those of a city guard and city officer rolled into one.

the end, a great sandstorm rose in the Endless Desert, swallowing Uruds armies whole. T h e soldiers of Quehabat fled, leaving behind their implements of war as the gods themselves wreaked vengeance on Urud for their Caliphs pride, burying the once-proud city in the sand. Since those days, Quehabat has been known as the City Born of the Gods, for it was protected while Urud was destroyed. Daughters of the royal line are treated with equal respect to their male counterparts because the Gods made i t clear that all those born of noble blood are equal in their sight.

Quehabat
Mythic Origins
Long ago, the early residents of Quehabat traded with another city, Urud, that lay deep in the sands. According to legend it was covered in gold as a woman is shrouded in silks, and equally as beautiful. Although the two cities had peaceful trade, they sought a union, and the Caliph of Urud promised t o marry the daughter of the Sultan of Quehabat. T h e marriage was destined for failure, though. When the daughter of the Sultan of Quehabat could not bear the Caliph sons, he cursed her name and her line, and swore he would marry another despite the laws of their people. Although she had given him three daughters, he cast her out into the deep desert, taking back his name and his gifts and declaring their marriage over. H e expected her to die in the Endless Sands, but she carried her children across miles of wasteland back to her home in Quehabat. Worse, the gods cursed the Caliph and his city for his arrogance. They protected the woman and brought her to safety. A great war erupted between U r u d and Quehabat: a war that lasted nearly a hundred years and watered the sands between them with blood. T h e armies rode chariots to battle, and slaves from both sides labored incessantly to rebuild as the war destroyed towns, cities, and even the temples of the gods. T h e Caliph of Urud swore that he would destroy Quehabat and throw his daughters into the teeth of the gods who had denied him sons. His words were hasty and cruel, and the gods heard his blasphemy. In

Histoy
More than five centuries ago, a small village named Sal6 sprang up on the northeastern bank of the Mezsabhar River. Its inhabitants were the remnants of an ancient tribe known as the Zenata, a people who had been nearly wiped out by intertribal warfare in the deep sands, They settled at the future site of the city at first as a temporary resting place and then created a more permanent home. By the end of the century, the Zenata had more than doubled in size and had built a small Kasbah o n the high cliffs overlooking the river. Under the legendary leader, Yacoub Quehaba al-Mansour, the Zenata tribe expanded their

children of those nomads are raised as city-born. T h e original descendants of Quehabat are easy to identify: their skin is pale, their eyes are often green or hazel rather than brown, and their hair may turn unusual colors of red or even a dark blonde. Those citizens of nomadic descent are almost always taller than those of Quehabatian noble lineage. Nomadic blood shows in extremely dark hair (ranging from mahogany t o true black) and eyes of a dark brown or occasionally a dark hazel.

T h e city of Quehabat is a magnificent place filled with strong architecture that rises above the city streets and
striking processions of nobles as they march on eunuchborne litters with silken veils to keep out t h e stinging insects. It has been rebuilt several times, each time more splendid than the last, as each of the Great Sultans creates some personal monument or landmark t o commemorate his existence. These edifices take the form of fountains, new buildings, statues, or gold-plated mosques. Several strange landmarks, such as a circle of arches placed in the center of an open garden, give tribute to rulers now all but forgotten. overcome tribes willingly gave their oaths to the Sultan in exchange for freedom within his great city. Quehabat prospered, and began t o grow. Less than two centuries ago, Quehabat established permanent trade agreements and political alliances with another city on the Bitter Ocean, Ma-Hallam. As the two grew larger and more solidified in their union, the sultans of both decided t o permanently unify T h e nation of al-Maghrebia was the result of their treaty, and Quehabat (as the larger of the two) became its capital. Quehabat has led al-Maghrebia into war, overtaking the city of DiralC, and is the seat of the Grand Sultan Jardin Qued Abdullah Saluman ibn Ibrahim al-Kharajah and his family. It maintains the bulk of the al-Maghrebian military and commerce, and contains one of the most powerful artifacts known t o the Endless Sands: the Jewel of the Conqueror. T h e current ruler of Quehabat is the eldest and most favored son of the Grand Sultan of al-Maghrebia. T h e Sultan of Quehabat is Sultan Allhan Qued Meer-ajah Saluman ibn Ibrahim al-Kharajah, and he maintains a small palace just west of his fathers grand home for the purposes of business and government. H e is young, barely having reached his thirtieth year, but he has his fathers ear and this gives him power. Quehabat is a blaze of color. Embroidered curtains sway between pillars decorated with gold and ivory marking the edges of mosques, wealthy houses, and even moderately well-established shops. Even in lower class areas, where such curtains are too expensive to hang, the shops have archways delicately ornamented in gold and ivory or colored tiles. Even where a building has been ruined, there remains bare and delicate framework crafted by hand over many hours of work and as beautiful as many of the overworked pieces of the noble quarter. It is a city where each step is carefully planned, and the stones of the street are often festooned with small carvings done by artists practicing their craft. Artwork and beauty are truly everywhere. Innumerable figures carved in low relief are painted in gorgeous colors against the sides of the buildings forming mosaic or frescoed scenes. Some are bright and vibrant while others have faded over the years, and, while coloring still clings t o them, the dark grey marble beneath shines through like bones through bright flesh. Gleaming in the sunlight, the great processions move from one side of the city to the other, tracing their way through the noble and merchants quarters towards the throne of the King of Kings. T h e city itself has a chaste outline and a delicacy of structure between the curve of its streets and the high spires of the tallest buildings - a practiced dance of stone and the movement of its citizens that is like nothing else. Here is the first true worship of sculpture, the first brilliant awakening of the sculptors art, and it is strewn like candy through every corridor of the city itself. Even in the poorest neighborhoods, the doorways are carved, and the

The City
Quehabat is inhabited by descendants of the areas original people, as well as those of various nomadic tribes that once roamed the Endless Sands. It is rare that such a tribe may wish t o settle, but occasionally i t happens, and the

Khasbah des Ouregis


T h e Khasbah des Ouregis is one of the largest fortifications in the Endless Sands. It stands more than
eight miles in circumference and has over 200 gates looking down onto the city below. its walls are made from red clay - stained red, some say, by the blood of those who defy the Sultan. Inside the walls are a number of buildings, streets, and trade centers for citizens to bring in portions of grain as taxes and for selling it again in hard seasons. The eastern wall of the Khasbah overlooks the bay where the Mezsabhar River enters the Bitter Ocean, and along the southern wall stretches one of the largest and most beautiful gardens in the world.

sides like a lovers band. it is wide enough to march four large wagons side-by-side across, and even then there is room for others to walk between each of them. T h e bridge is arched high above the rivers waters, and the high columns that raise the stone above the river is shaped into key-stone arches much like the doorways of the mosque. T h e bridge is almost a century old, and when it reaches the Ioo-year mark next year, a great festival has been planned to celebrate the union of the two halves of Quehabat. Already, flowers are being grown on either side of the bridge, to offer spectacular color to the ceremony when i t comes t o pass.

The garden at the edge of the Khasbah is known as the Cal-Ilief. It was created by a Sultan long ago to commemorate those who had died defending the city. After the monument a t the center had been constructed, women of the city and all over al-Maghrebia began t o bring plants and place them around the towering statue. As these plants took
root and grew, the garden began. Today, it encircles a square area of almost a half-mile, fed by the river below, and its plazas and flowering plants are considered one of the great wonders of the city. T h e Khasbah is a peaceful place, well-guarded and lit a t night by traveling lantern-bearers who are paid by the city to keep the streets safe from crime. It is a fairly cosmopolitan area filled with street vendors, rich merchant areas, and the nobility of the Endless Sands.

The Grand Bazaar

Enhatyaka Mosque
T h e Enhatyaka Mosque is the largest religious monument in the cities of the Endless Sands. There are those seasoned travelers who claim that i t outdoes the ancient Crypts of Urud now half-buried in desert sand and lost t o time. Ten thousand craftsmen worked on it for more than seven years to raise i t from empty earth into the magnificent structure that it is today. T h e mosque can hold up t o 25,000 worshippers, and over 80,000 more can be accommodated on the plazas and balconies of the building overlooking the ritual area. T h e highest minaret rises t o a point over 200 yards into the air and is lit each night by over a thousand lanterns within the spire. T h e interior of the mosque is made of cedar carved by hand and fitted in ornate patterns all over the building. it is one of the most sacred places in Quehabat, and the Grand Sultan himself worships within its magnificent architecture.

Ri bat-al-Fatah
T h e bridge known as the Victory Fortress spans the Mezsabhar River in a wide band of gold, encircling both

Quehabats Grand Bazaar is renowned throughout the Endless Sands for its diversity and the sheer span of its shops. Over two square miles of street are covered in bright tenting, and a wide plaza in the center of the square serves as a stage for the sale of animals, slaves, and unusual artifacts. More than three thousand merchants hold shops in the area, and traveling tribes often rent locations in the center of the plaza from the city, putting up temporary sales-tents and hawking their wares to anyone who comes near. Of course, this chaotic environment is rife with thieves, so travelers are suggested t o beware any guides

who offer a tour of the city. Real guides will be citysanctioned and carry badges issued by the local Qaids. Those who do not have such badges are almost certainly thieves trying to con the unwary into dark alleys. Quehabat also has a tremendous pillar placed in the center of the bazaar, where offers for mercenaries are pinned to the wooden post. This serves as a central area for such characters to get work and is a popular area for them to practice their fighting in a dished area of the ground nearby that serves as an impromptu arena. In this way, the mercenaries show their skill to those who would wish to hire them. T h e practice also draws many gamblers willing to bet on the outcome of these relatively friendly duels.

Great Sultan of al-Maghrebia lives with his large family and his harem of wives. It is an extremely well-defended place with over 100 guards o n duty at all times, and, inside the high white walls of the outer palace, there are fantastic gardens, peacocks, and tamed tigers as well as a fountain that stands over 20 feet high.

Ma-Hallam
Ma-Hallam was built not by human hands but by the will and magic of sorcerers and viziers, who control the magic of Fire and Sorcery. Long ago, Ma-Hallam was a portal between this realm and the Land Beyond and was said to be the source of all magical power. Even today, the city is known for its magical prowess, and the double towers of the viziers dominate the citys skyline and can be seen even from outside Ma-Hallams high walls. Many Djinn castes such as Ifrit and Jann move subtly through Ma-Hallam and may deign to take physical form within the city. They are welcome here by order of the Rajah, and any who take action against such spirits are harshly punished. Although the portal i n t o the Land Beyond is n o longer accessible, it is still a haven to those creatures native t o that mystic land. MaHallam is as close t o home as these poor souls may ever know, and they are very protective of the citys welfare. Because of its mystical background, Ma-Hallam has a very different feel than its sister cities on the Bitter Ocean. It is a proud and aloof city and has two native languages: the tongue of the Endless Sands and that of the noble Jann. Most citizens speak at least some words in Jann, and all those who consider themselves educated must be able to speak fluently in both. T h e ground of the city is a chalky white unlike that of any other place in the Endless Sands, and n o matter how much blood is spilled upon it, it is absorbed and vanishes completely away within a few hours. A local legend has it that the most ancient of Djinn Queens lies beneath the city, drinking the blood that falls through the soil. When she has had enough to drink, she will once more open the portal t o the Land of Fire and Sorcery and allow the armies of the Djinn to come through once more. Ma-Hallam is inhabited by a very red-skinned people, setting them apart from the olive complexion of the rest of the tribes of the Endless Sands. Legend says this is because of their past history with the Jann, and that their tribe once interbred with the spirits of the Endless Sands. Others say it is because of the strange consistency of the earth around Ma-Hallam, and that the oddness seeps into the water they drink and the food they eat.

Palace o the Kharajah f The massive palace of the Kharajah stands near
the river, overlooking the Mezsabhar where is the deepest, before it sinks toward the ocean. It is a startling white with simple lines and golden caps upon the high towers that rise high above the city. Its minarets are hexagonal, showing six clearly defined sides rather than being shaped in a smoother round texture. The pillars that hold up the ledges and great archways are covered in delicate tile work and brilliant mosaic depictions of historical battles. Inside the palace, the
it

The Jewel of the Conqueror is a tremendous star sapphire formed of a single massive dark blue stone. It is larger than a childs head and radiates eldritch power t o even those who have no ability to sense the presence of magic. All Djinns in the service of al-Maghrebia come on the first day of each year to worship the Jewel and leave sacrifices within the chamber that houses it. Their petitions of gold and magical artifacts are left in the room for the duration of one month (the holy month of Idul-Halij) and then taken to the Royal Treasury.

The Jewel is currently being kept in a room of the Royal Palace of the Kharajah, Sultan of alMaghrebia. &\.loreinformation on the Jewel can

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History
Less than two centuries ago, Quehabat and several smaller neighbors unified into a single country known as al-Maghrebia. Their primary reason for this alliance was to defend themselves against the rising power of MaHallam. T h e newly formed nation immediately declared war against Ma-Hallam b u t was soundly defeated by the powerful magic of the Ma-Hallamud viziers. Quehabat retreated in defeat, and did not return until they were prepared to create a sound and beneficial trade agreement. At that time, Ma-Hallam joined the alliance and unified the base that would become the strong country of al-Maghrebia. Since ancient times, Ma-Hallam has been a site of great magic, known to all the tribes of the Endless Sands as a place o f great danger. It is t h e legendary home of the Djinn and the center of travel t o and from the Eternal Planes - the lands of Fire and Sorcery from which the Rajah of Ma-Hallam draws his power. Although the gate is n o longer open, i t is still a powerful source of magic. Consequently, Ma-Hallam is a city o f wizards and of ancient sorcery. T h e city was founded on plundered wealth and the gold given in offering t o the Djinn of the area. Due to the vast resources of money, the city was well-planned, and several large wells could be dug. Ma-Hallam was built to be beautiful, and that goal was achieved. With the aid of magical spirits such as the Djinn and Jann, the city rose in amazing time and is an icon of white perfection. T h e Rajah of the city is Sidi Mohammen Ahmed alMansour, known as the Golden One for his reign of wisdom and prosperity. H e is an old man nearing his eightieth birthday, b u t he shows no signs of failing health. When he dies, succession will likely be split among his three most powerful children: two sons and a daughter, all of whom are prominent viziers within Ma-Hallams Towers.

would be feasible to enter the Djemmah Fatima River at this point, n o divers could possibly hold their breaths long enough t o make the trek down and back again. Some viziers and other magicians have tried, but none have ever returned. Deep wells funnel water into public fountains throughout the city, providing open sources for all those within MaHallam. T h e southern portions of the city, nearest the ocean, are considered the more prestigious areas of MaHallam, although even the lower areas are cleaner and better maintained than in any other city of the Sultanate. Among the most noted sights are the tremendous baths, the two spires of the viziers, the massive temple to the sun god, Ahuramazda, and the Saadian Tombs, the final resting place of dead Djinni.

The Rakeshian Baths


T h e Rakeshian Baths are the most famous hammam in the Endless Sands. They are housed in a massive building covered with bright mosaics and surrounded by beautiful gardens. All of the servitors are beautiful, chosen for their pleasant features and their gentle natures. T h e baths themselves are spacious, each capable of holding over 100 men and women. There are four such baths, arranged within a pillared set of rooms that fill gently with steam and pleasant music. T h e baths are not only especially large but also opulent and ornate with plush towels, steam rooms, and catered food served t o the patrons while they relax in the massive pools of hot water. T h e water circulates constantly,

The Wilayat
T h e province of Ma-Hallam contains n o t only t h e city itself but also the arable fields and farmlands that surround its high white walls. It is subdivided into four prefectures (of which the city itself occupies three) and numerous quidates. Although Ma-Hallam has no upland river, the powerful water sources deep beneath the ground keep it from becoming a desert. T h e Djemmah Fatima River has never been seen by mortal eyes, but it can be tracked above ground by the plentiful wells. There is an opening into the Bitter Ocean at the rivers mouth, deep beneath the oceans surface on the cliffs of Ma-Hallam. While it

Hammams
Visiting a bathhouse is a traditional way to get clean and to relax. Within the society of MaHallam and the Endless Sands, bathhouses are good places to congregate for food, discussion, and cleanliness. They are often used as gathering places for families, visitors, and especially for business. Every large town or city has a t least one hammam, or bathhouse, where gallons of hot water wait for the travelers comfort and an entire staff of servants cleans and serves the patron. Often, there are separate hammams for men and women, but it is not unheard of in MaHallam and some more educated cities for the baths to be communal to both sexes. Modesty is important in hammams, and those who bathe here do not strip completely naked. The people of the Endless Sands have small-clothes (costumes designed for wearing while bathing), and these are worn while the patron is within the bath. Handfuls of soapy clay known as ghassoul are used to remove grease from the body and to wash the hair. Going to a hammam usually costs around 5 dirham, but more expensive baths can cost as much as 30 dirham for a single wash. Some hammam offer massages at extra prices, and prostitution is not unheard of in such establishments.

beneath the earth, lies the Portal of Fire and Sorcery, an ancient rift between the world of mortals and the paradise of the Jann. T h i s gateway is sealed by an ancient power, and none have been able to breach it within recorded memory. It still lies, dormant and cold, beneath the towers of Karah-ael, though. T h e viziers of the city have their own hierarchy and are not constrained by the laws of Ma-Hallam. Although they are still required to pay taxes and to obey the will of the Rajah, they do not have to obey the laws of the city with the singular exception of murder, which is forbidden even to them. Even so, the Rajah is willing to forgive such transgressions if the vizier can show good cause. Owing to the viziers supernatural powers and the fact that they are given such latitude, the common people of Ma-Hallam avoid them as much as possible. All sorcerers who enter the city are expected to immediately turn themselves in t o the Karah-ael because their presence is an affront and challenge to the viziers. Those who do will usually be treated fairly and allowed to roam the city (so long as they practice no magic within the walls). Those who hide themselves from the viziers will be destroyed and their books confiscated, if they are discovered.

The Karah-ael
The High Arch, also known by its name in the Jann tongue, Karah-ael, are the two spires of the viziers. Within their walls, all the sorcerers of Ma-Hallam gather to offer advice and council to the lawmakers of the city. The towers are libraries, as well, holding the secrets and knowledge of generations of tribes both mortal and Djinn. T h e common people of Ma-Hallam simply refer to the viziers libraries as the Two Spires. They avoid them out of habit, covering their faces with veils or scarves when they are forced to pass close by. Commoners in the Endless Sands believe that all sorcerers have perfect memories. If one ever sees your face, he or she will be able to cast spells upon you even from a great distance. Its therefore imperative to cover ones face when in the presence of magic or magicians, After all, only a fool takes risks with unknown powers.

This ancient temple to the sun god, Ahuramazda, stands more as an historical structure than as a true cathedral. Although some IO% of the people within Ma-Hallam still worship the old pantheons, the majority of the inhabitants of the cities of al-Maghrebia have converted to the monotheistic religion of JaIlam. Those who worship Ahuramazda are seen as backwards and ignorant, but the magnificent temple still stands in the center of Ma-Hallam. There have been many arguments over converting the temple into a mosque, but as yet that has n o t occurred. T h e central tower of the Zeh-Ahuramazda rises from a square platform, and the walls stretch over I 50 yards into the air. T h e tower itself is covered with gold and mosaic, and i t shines like a beacon of light in the noonday sun. T h e temple surrounds the tower in the shape of an eightpointed star with each point of the building ending in a massive lantern capable of holding more than two hundred candles in sconces within the main room. Services to Ahuramazda are performed by the aging priests who inhabit the temple. They hold open services, but, because the city frowns o n any public gathering of their parishioners, the temple is rarely filled. T h e priests who serve the ancient gods also live within the temple both for their own safety and for the protection of the building. T h e Zeh-Ahuramazda and the homes if its priests have repeatedly been raided and attacked by JaIlam

To the nobility of the city, the Karah-ael is a resource of knowledge, wisdom, and magical prowess. At its base, deep
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fanatics, and more than one arson attempt against the temple has occurred in the last year.

Saadian Tombs
T h e Saadian Tombs lie within caves to the north of MaHallam and not within its actual walls. These are said to be the final resting place of dead Djinn, and the caves themselves go deep into the mountain walls. There are few who dare to enter, and to do so would require a great deal of dangerous climbing o n almost sheer cliff walls. T h e Djinn guard these caves irregularly; it is not unusual to see a Djinni near the Saadian Tombs, giving honor to a past ancestor o r bringing herbs and other offerings to the caves of his or her family line. Djinn are very respectful to places of death, and they consider any trespassing in these caves t o be an insult worthy of painful and tormented death. Djinn-watchers sometimes gather in boats out o n the ocean, hoping to catch a glimpse of these spirits as they tend to the caverns of their dead. Able guides will often take groups of tourists o u t on such boats for a day of fishing and cave-watching, hoping to be able to show them a real live Djinni in true form during their outing. Occasionally in the Ma-Hallams bazaar, dealers of potent drugs can be found hawking their wares. Many drugs are not illegal in the city of Ma-Hallam, and in most cases, the city moquadams will turn a blind (but well-paid) eye t o all but the most unsavory dealers. The most well-known drug for sale is mahjoun, a kind of sticky, pasty mass not unlike molasses. It is made from the crushed seeds of a desert plant. A small ball can send the uninitiated into a spinning euphoria and certainly impairs the decision-making processes. It is possible for someone who has never tasted mahjoun to sell all of his or her possessions and wake up the next morning with no idea of how they spent the last few hours. It is popular, though, among those used to its behavioral effects (once you gain a certain tolerance, you are less likely to lose control). However, even among habitual users, paranoia and forgetfulness are common side-effects.

A small ball of mahjoun will last a single evening


(up to six hours) for someone with low tolerance and can be purchased for 3 dirham. The drug must be orally ingested, although it can be mixed with strong wine or food and still have effect.

It is said that there is a mountain of gold deep within the Saadian Tombs brought there by Djinn as offerings t o the dead. There are rumors of a number of artifacts, books of powerful incantations, and potentially a living portal to the Land of Fire and Sorcery. However, the legends of ancient and dangerous guardians keep most
treasure-hunters away.

Yedja ali t
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Mechanics: Characters taking mahjoun for the first time suffer an automatic - I O penalty to their Wisdom scores for I d 4 + 2 hours. While under the influence of the drug, a person can be manipulated as a Suggestion spell had been cast on him or her.
Habitual users suffer 2d6 penalty to their Wisdom scores for I d 4 f 2 hours. Such characters are allowed a Will Save a t DC 1 3 to resist the influence of any Suggestions placed upon them, but keep in mind that the Saving Throw is made with the modifier of the adjusted Wisdom score. Upon recovery from the drugs influence, the Wisdom score returns to normal, but the character is Fatigued for I d 6 hours.

For more than 2500 years, people have inhabited the outcropping of cliffs that line the strategic point of land that juts into the heart of the Bitter Ocean. T h e peninsula is long, thin, and difficult to cross, and the city at its end is exceptionally well-defended. This port has seen dozens of civilizations come and go, and (if legends are to be

believed) has withstood even the fury of a Djinn king. World-weary and wise in the ways of battle and siege, the dark red walls of Yedja-alit seem to grow forth from the stone a t its base, unimpeded by volcanic rock, sand, or the battering waves of the sea. Yedja-alit has been an independent city for most of its existence, ruled solely by one thing: money. From the

smallest guide-boys to the drug and slave trades, the city of Yedja-alit runs on pure finance. It cares little for causes, religion, or morality, and the priests of al-Maghrebia shake their heads and say that the city itself would sell its soul for a single dirham coin. Even now that Yedja-alit pays token fealty t o the kingdom of al-Maghrebia, the Great Sultan knows well enough to ignore the business on the citys streets. Yedja-alit pays its taxes, keeps to itself, and if i t should choose to leave the union, there is little anyone could do t o force it to change its mind. The city is dangerous, predatory, and dark. Its streets burrow into the caverns of a dead volcano at the edge of the ocean. There is no city guard, nor does the governmental hierarchy hear cases of law except when they are between two prominent (that is, rich) citizens. There are gladiatorial arenas, slavery is commonplace, and murder is rewarded by throwing the body of the dead over the sharp obsidian cliffs and into the Bitter Sea. If the perpetrator happens t o be caught by the victims family or friends, they are often treated in the same manner. Yedja-alit is ruled by a figurehead: the Rajah Phoenius al-Marid al-Jamal Tanierj. H e is certainly a fake, and is the ruler of nothing more than his own guard and staff. T h e Rajah is a wealthy man, however, and that does make him powerful. H e managed to convince the city to join the alliance of al-Maghrebia (partially persuaded to do so by a significant bribe from the Grand Sultan), and he metes out justice to those brought before him.

dangerous places, and on legendary quests. When he returned, he entered into an anonymous riddle contest with his youngest brother on the latters wedding night, H e won not only the city back but also the right to wed the most beautiful woman in the world - his brothers fiancC. Less than two centuries ago, the city of Quehabat and the city of Ma-Hallam unified into the single country of alMaghrebia. This newly formed nation was ravenous, gathering up lone tribes and enforcing laws and customs upon all travelers and traders o n the Bitter Ocean. T h e enemies of al-Maghrebia quickly fled to Yedja-alit. AI-Maghrebia attempted t o take Yedja-alit by force on three separate occasions but failed each time. Only in the last 40 years, when the Grand Sultan of al-Maghrebia offered treaty and peace gifts to the Rajah of the city, could a standing alliance be created. T h e city is currently ruled by an oligarchy of I 5 wealthy men and women who control trade, shipping, and military interests. These cartels are powerful and intertwined in a web of strategy, alliance, and lies that holds Yedja-alit together. Anyone making waves in the city who is not protected or backed by one of these cartels is killed or worse. However, the figurehead of Yedja-alit is the Rajah Phoenius al-Marid al-Jamal Tanierj, who maintains his rule through cleverness and cautious, cut-throat alliances.

The Wiluyut
T h e province of Yedja-alit officially contains only the city itself, but the various officials and powerful figures of the city often claim areas outside their actual control. These areas include the seas around the city, the peninsula, and the relatively fertile grounds of the wasteland near the peninsulas base. T h e prefectures are entirely within the city, forming zones of control between the six most powerful citizens of Yedja-alit. Within those six prefectures are numerous quidates and multiple (sometimes even overlapping) territories of lesser control. Yedja-alit has n o upland river or significant underground water source. It does have hot springs within the volcano, and a great deal of water-retention

History
The port of Yedja-alit has been one of the most contested sites in the Endless Sands, enduring siege after siege of its red, volcanic walls and even seaborne attackers attempting to scale the sheer obsidian cliffs of the peninsula that houses it. It has only been successfully taken once, and that was because the city guard inside rebelled, slaughtered the noble rulers, and opened the gates to their enemies. Yedja-alit is a smugglers den filled with numerous outcasts and rebels, and its population shows signs of multiple layers of interbreeding among all the races of the Endless Sands. There is a saying in Yedja-alit: He who travels knows more than he who lives long. Trade is plentiful, and wandering nomad bands are freely allowed entrance into the city provided they can pay the entry tariff. No one is asked questions, and n o deal is too dark o r corrupt for t h e citizens of this black pit of humanity. One of their most famous historical figures is Sheikh Abu Nohatma bin Abdallah bin lshael al-Lawati. H e ruled over the city for three years and then set aside his crown to travel through the Endless Sands. H i s adventures took him to holy sites,
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Environmental Hazards
The city of Yedja-alit is prone to disease and plague and is typically hit by a serious sickness a t least once every ten years. This is due to the citys poor freshwater supply and the heat and contamination of its mountainous foundation. Citizens and travelers alike are encouraged to bathe frequently in the hot springs, and to take care with their drinking water. However, sicknesses still pop up from time to time, and a traveler would do well to take note of such illnesses.

Giardiasis A disease caused by a common parasite, this sickness is often acquired by drinking unclean water or by eating food prepared by other diseased individuals. Since some cities like Yedja-alit often have rashes of such uncleanness, visitors often get this sickness. Symptoms include stomach cramps, nausea, and frequent vomiting. The disease will not go away until cured. Common alchemists in the Endless Sands can create a potion which will cure it, costing a mere 5 dirham. Mechanics: Characters who eat or drink tainted food must make a Fortitude Save at D C 15. Failure inflicts I d 4 points of Constitution Damage and makes the character Nauseated. The condition persists until cured. Each day, the character takes an additional I d 3 points of Constitution Damage and remains Nauseated until treatment begins. Because it causes dehydration, Giardiasis can be fatal if allowed to run unchecked. Hepatitis This is a general term for inflammation of the liver. Several different viruses can cause hepatitis, and they differ in the means of being transmitted. Contaminated food and water will transmit the disease as will contact with the blood of an infected person, through tattooing, or through combat. Symptoms include fever, chills, weakness, aches and pains throughout the body, abdominal pain, and other serious cramps. Only magical care will remove the disease, which must be treated with a Remove Disease spell or better. Merhanirs: Characters consuming contaminated food or water must make a Fortitude Save at DC 12. Those in contact with the blood of an infected person must Save at D C 15. Those who fail suffer Id3 points of Strength Damage Id8 days. If it is not treated in that time, those who acquired and are Nauseated. This condition lasts for one week the disease via contaminated food or water receive Id6 points of Constitution Damage and continue to be Nauseated for a number of days equal to half the Constitution Damage. Those characters who contract the disease from blood suffer the same symptoms as those who received it from contaminated food, plus they take I point of Permanent Constitution Damage. In addition, every four months, the character must make a Fortitude Save at D C 1 5 or the disease comes back.

Typhoid Typhoid Fever was first discovered in Quehabat, largely due to the press of people living in a small area. It is a dangerous contamination caused by contaminated water or poorly stored food, and it can be deadly if untreated. In early stages, sufferers feel they have a bad flu or other minor sickness, but in the later stages of the disease, a rash develops, dehydration occurs, and violent sickness sets in. This illness can only be treated with long-term medical care (requiring some months in a good facility to recover), or through the use of a Remove Disease spell. Mechanics: Characters consuming tainted food or water must make a Fortitude Save at D C I 3. Those who fail suffer Id3 points of Strength Damage and become Fatigued three days after contracting the disease. Every day thereafter, the character must make another Fortitude Save at D C 1 3 . Each time he or she fails, the character sustains another Id3 points of Strength Damage. The disease passes when all Strength Damage is healed, but the character must make a minimum of three Saving Throws after the initial onset before being cured.
Once the character has taken damage three times, the illness attacks with more ferocity. The victim suffers Id3 points of Constitution Damage per day and is perpetually Exhausted. At this stage, only a Remove Disease spell can arrest the progress of the sickness.

Paper Flesh Paper flesh is a rash-like sickness that spreads rapidly thorough the body, making the skin of the sufferer fragile and easily damaged. The disease is spread through touch, and those individuals infected are considered lepers untouchables, cast out from all levels of society. This illness cannot be cured except by a Heal spell. Mechanics: Characters who come into contact with infected individuals must make a Fortitude Save at D C 20. Those who fail lose I H i t Point a day and suffer an additional 5 H i t Points of damage from any wounds taken while afflicted. The damage taken from the disease cannot be healed by any means short of a Heal spell.

from the rainy season, as precipitation pools in deep wells beneath the city, lasting sometimes even through the driest years. For this reason, water is in limited supply in Yedja-alit and always treated with care. T h e city has no hammams other than the hot springs within the volcano caverns, and there are no fountains such as those found in other major cities. At its heart, Yedja-alit is a practical city, capable of using its resources t o the greatest extent. Guardsmen constantly patrol the walls, controlled not by the city officials (although some may be) but by the powerful interests and citizens of the city. Anyone whose guards number more than I O is considered t o be maintaining a private army, and their soldiers are conscripted for city protection duty on a daily or weekly basis. These guards vary too widely in skill, training, and desire t o actually be of any use to the city, but it keeps factions within Yedja-alit from assaulting major public holdings or indulging in riots.

The arch was once topped with a bronze chariot that shone like the sun, but it was removed by looters during one of the citys many wars. Rumor says that the chariot
still exists somewhere in the deepest labyrinths of the city, but it has never been found. Some believe that the patterns and carvings on the Triumphal Arch are a code of some sort, directing the way to a fabulous lost treasure deep within the desert sands.

Mosaics
Many of the roadways within the mountain that forms the heart of Yedja-alit are covered in detailed mosaics of beasts, battles, and religious scenes. Some of these were installed by past governments while others were created by citizens and wealthy patrons t o create a more beautiful area for their personal pleasure. These mosaics form a rudimentary map of the city, and guides will often give directions to newcomers such as t u r n left at the Great Battle of Ru-habar, and right when you see the Arena of Lions. Further, many thieves have engineered elaborate routes through the city that are hidden in code within the mosaics. T h e simple tile patterns can contain messages, provide cover for small alcoves behind the main work, or even conceal hidden passages that can only be accessed by pushing or twisting certain tiles in unique patterns.

The northern and highest portions of the city are considered


the more prestigious areas of Yedja-alit, and the poorer
and lower-class citizens often find themselves permanently sentenced to cave-like homes deep in the mountains center. Some may even live their lives without ever seeing the ocean, although sunlight is fairly plentiful because the mountain is riddled with air holes and other small apertures to the surface. Among the most noted sights of the city are the Triumphal Arch, built within the citys main gates but outside the mountainous center of Yedja-alit, the stunning mosaics of the roadways within the mountain, and the House of Columns, which even today serves as the meeting place for politicians and the capitol building for the Rajahs infrequent courts.

House o Columns f
T h e House of Columns is a massive building, primarily consisting of a great open plaza covered by a vaulted roof that is held aloft by numerous carved marble pillars. Only the rear of the area is enclosed, creating a tremendous half-circle of marble more than 5 0 feet long and 13 feet high. At the top, the roof is made of glass so that the sun can shine down onto those below. There is a throne beneath the glass ceiling at the center of the half-circle, several smaller couches throughout the building, and numerous cushions strewn against the columns. Three massive pine trees grow at one corner of the building, providing a certain amount of shade and comfort, and the wind from the ocean blows through the building during the hottest part of the day, making the area bearable and even comfortable. At the center of the building, clearly visible from the throne, is the citys single fountain - a small construction with a single spray of water that falls down into a dark marble basin. T h e floor of the building is covered in bright, decorative mosaic patterns intermixed with large tiles of marble. T h e thick marble half-circle not only protects the Rajah when he is in court, i t also serves as a passage to and from the palace within the mountain. There is a secret door that, once opened, reveals that the inner portion of the I8

Triumphal Arch
Built within the citys main gates but outside the mountainous center of Yedja-alit, the heavy Triumphal Arch is a masterpiece of stonemasonry Crafted shortly after the city was founded thousands of years ago, the Triumphal Arch has stood through fire, earthquake, and war. It has seen an influx of citizenry and trade and outlived every regime that has claimed to own the city. The arch is formed of marble, a stone that is not indigenous to the area, and therefore must have been shipped t o Yedjaalit from somewhere in t h e Dhakyah Mountains. Much of the marble is aged and weathered smooth, but there are many carvings that have withstood nature. One depicts a battle with fierce fire magic soaring through the air, and another shows a sports competition in which athletes chase a strange ball in an arena of spectators. Still another depicts a terrible beast coiled around the base of the archway and watching all those who pass with emotionless stone eyes.

half-circle area is hollow with walls three inches wide and enough space within for two people to walk abreast. A set of stairs lead down into the earth through this passage, eventually leading to the palace itself. All the doors are guarded by Palatial Soldiers, and the Rajahs passage to and from the House of Columns is always carefully guarded. This building is a popular place for politicians and emissaries of powerful citizens to meet with each other, as well as with local businessmen or traveling ambassadors of other lands. It also the site of law-making and legal justice for the city.

Thieves
There are few Thieves Guilds in the Endless Sands, but the city of Diralt has something of a sort. More than thirty of the most powerful thieves in the area have joined forces here in order to bleed the wealth of the rich local citizens and to rob the grain silos of their harvest. This group is called the Sepharine, and they are both merciless and greedy. They have taken great strides towards achieving their goals, but, rogues are not trusting people. More than one of the companions has already been killed for cheating on his share and holding back from his new allies. The merger is on the verge of collapse, but if it succeeds, the citizens of Diral6 will be in for a new wave of almost unstoppable crime.

Dirale
Diralt is the smallest of the Four Cities, but it is still a bustling trade port. Once, it was a beautiful place ruled by a noble succession of kings, but infighting, civil war, and the pains of repeated conquest transformed the city into a defeated ruin, barely held together by the last strings of its pride.

A few hundred years ago, the last DiralC king entered into
a dynastic quarrel with two other claimants to the throne, and the hereditary lineage of the city was destroyed. Muhatmad al-Mutawwakil, the brother of the previous king, claimed the throne o n the grounds that the oldest male in the family (not the oldest son) should inherit. H e was immediately opposed by the late kings first-born child (a female) and the oldest son. T h e resulting schism ended in the deaths of all three, leaving n o heirs t o inherit the throne at all. Afterwards, numerous false kings reigned in DiralC, but none of them was able to reclaim the glory and power. Eventually, even the succession of false kings ceased, and Diralt became ruled by trader-princes and sheikhs of the powerful tribes that would repeatedly conquer the city and seize control. Yet Diralk survived this barbaric past, fighting to keep its identity as a city. Areas of the city are sculpted after the styles popular during the reigns of individual rulers o r after certain eras of conquest. There are parts of the city that consist entirely of tented houses, their roves stretched between the ruined walls of once-glorious buildings, and other homes that are formed of solid marble: completely inappropriate for the climate and the heat. D i r a k boasts a diverse citizenry, and they are of many different colors, nations, and heritages. Some of the inhabitants of this city are even said to be able to trace back their histories to the mythical lands beyond the Deep Desert, but few of those wild stories can be believed. Their appearances can vary wildly, and there is little that remains consistent about the populace of this war-torn society.

The boy-Rajah on the throne is weak and ineffective, and his guards are equally naive of the citys true
workings. The greatest obstacle confronting the thieves is their distrust of each other. If that can be overcome, very little will stop their rise. New thieves in the city of Diralt are always considered to be a risk to the rising power of the Sepharine. Anyone caught practicing their skills in the city without the support of the Sepharine is framed for crimes they didnt commit. This helps eliminate competition and keeps the authorities chasing the wrong criminal, all of which is desirable t o the Sepharine.

History
D i r a k has a complex history, one with significant gaps.

It is certain that the original inhabitants of the rocky


shoreline were present more than five centuries ago and that some of their original buildings and landmarks remain. Over that lie the repeated traffic of more than twelve different conquering civilizations, numerous times when the city was looted and burned, and a significant number of dynastic civil wars that badly damaged all permanent structures of the city. Guides to the city today can show travelers some of the more smashed areas; many of them have n o t been rebuilt due to lack of funds o r public interest. T h e citizens of Diralt simply gave u p a long time ago. T h e most recent conquest of the city happened only a few decades ago when the united forces of Quehabat and MaHallam formed the kingdom of al-Maghrebia and marched

Dirham
Dirham are small copper-colored coins that are commonly accepted throughout the Endless Sands as currency. Minted in Diralt (one of that citys few contributions to modern civilization), dirham are accepted among all the cities of alMaghrebia and by most Badiya tribes. Still, the majority of the Badiya prefer to trade goods rather than exchange coin, and the custom of bartering is still very much alive and well even in the most opulent of Quehabats bazaars. A single dirham is worth about as much as a gold coin in most areas of the Endless Sands, and equipment lists from other source material may be converted into the Endless Sands a t the conversion rate of I gold = I dirham.

of whom are of the Old Faith and trade with, and have family within, the city of Diralt. If that should happen, it would cause a jihad the likes of which has never before been seen in the Endless Sands. T h e current ruler is Rajah Nzala des Beni Saluman ibn Ibrahim al-Kharajah, a very young man who seems to barely have hair on his lip. H e is mocked through the city as their new boy-king, but he is not a poor ruler. Other than his naivete and a general sense of being ill-at-ease, the new Rajah has already begun trade reformations and instituted an elaborate plan t o eventually rebuild the ruined southern quarter of the city.

The Wiluyut
T h e Province of Diralt is largely divided among the fertile lands outside the city grounds. T h e city is really only the hub of trade and not the center of the population for the area. There are seven prefectures, of which the city contains only two, and the majority are comprised of arable land - Diralts greatest resource. Over half of the foodstuffs for al-Maghrebia come from the provinces of Dirak, and those resources are protected by Quehabatian arms.

to seize the provinces Diralt controlled and t o overtake the city. Although there was a great deal of fighting, the militia and scouts o f Diralk were n o match for the military and magical power of the newly founded kingdom. The city was seized, claimed in the name of the new kingdom, and became a foundation-stone for the expansion of al-Maghrebia. T h e fourth son of the Grand Sultan was installed as ruler upon conquest. T h e three successive kings have also been of the direct line of the Grand Sultan of Quehabat, although the throne has never passed to a child of the current Rajah of Diralt. Each Rajah dies without heirs or some terrible tragedy strikes the entire family a t once so that there never seems t o be a direct heir to the city line. Some peasants whisper that this is part of a curse; more educated inhabitants speak of a secret rebellion against the al-Maghrebian rule. Whatever the reason, the Grand Sultan of Quehabat always has more sons, and, each generation, one is chosen t o rule poor Diralt. Over three-fourths of the citys existing populace follow the Old Religion and have not converted to JaIlam. This causes significant strife in the city since the ruler is always a member of the JaIlam tradition. It especially disrupts trade with the rest of al-Maghrebia. There have been many rumors of war between the Faithful of Jallam and the city of Diralt, a war that would almost certainly result in the destruction of the smaller city. Worse, i t would likely cause an even greater conflict between the kingdom of al-Maghrebia and the Badiya tribes, almost all
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A thin stream of water trails through Diralt toward the ocean and is known as the Oued Fes, or Broken River,
due t o its small size and meandering nature. Several small bridges cross over its trails, and the water thus provided fuels the city as well as the miles of arable land stretching to the north and into the wastelands towards the hills of al-Emmour. Numerous tribes cycle in and out of the city, trading dried meat for produce and grain, and carrying the stories of the year. T h e southernmost portion of Diralt looks over the Bitter Ocean, and several docks stretch out into the waves of the sea from the low sandy dunes of the shoreline. Diralt is built directly on the sand of the beach with several warehouses half-imbedded in the dunes due to the passage of tide and time. T h e Khasbah, the Bali Diralt, rises t o one side of the city, and is pulled back from the sea due t o the lack of high cliffs t o protect it from ocean invasion. It is the only one of its kind and worth seeing for visitors. Other sites of interest are the Ruined Quarter, purportedly the place of the most bloodshed in all the history of the Endless Sands due t o the constant raids and assaults on Diralt; the Shaban cemetery built along the road t o the city; and the gigantic water-clock that takes up the central square of the plaza. T h e palace of the Rajah is also said to be haunted by the ghosts of all the kings who were murdered in the building throughout history. It is said that the ghosts will walk its halls until the day a true-blooded King of Diralt a t last sits upon the throne, and that the city will suffer plague and ruin until that day comes.

Ruined Quarter
T h e southeastern quarter of Dirali is purportedly the site of the most bloodshed in all the history of the Endless Sands. T h e ground is reddish, and the walls of the city have not been rebuilt since they were knocked down by siege engines over a hundred years ago (before even the armies of al-Maghrebia seized the city). Due to the constant raids and assaults o n Dirali, the southeastern quarter has gained the reputation of being something of a meat grinder: it is close t o the sea, cutting off any escape, and it is far from the main road, thereby also penning in those citizens who live there. Armies can simply camp on the eastern hills of the city, which provides ample food and shelter for them, and rain arrows on this part of town. T h e buildings of this quarter have not been rebuilt, save for sparse walls used to hold up the tented dwellings of the peasants. I t is a strange conglomeration of tents and arched roadways where buildings might crop up in the center of paved streets simply t o take advantage of the wind-break caused by a single standing wall. T h e streets are labyrinthine, difficult t o navigate, and often come to a dead end with surprising suddenness. Thieves use this area to lose pursuit, leaping from fractured wall to ruined post and diving among the field of tents in order to cover their tracks. T h e Ruined Quarter is not a friendly area of town, and travelers are strongly advised not to go there, especially after dark.

T e Weeping Woman h
It is said that a ghost haunts the Shaban Cemetery, and that she can only be seen on nights when the
moon is full in the sky. O n those bright evenings, the sound of weeping can be heard from the mausoleum, and some villagers have reported seeing a woman dressed in ornate but ancient robes of black and gold crying in the center of the structure. Even the Djinn will not go to the cemetery when the moon is dark, however, and they claim that any who do will die. According to legend, the womans husband was killed by a terrible beast known as the Bej-ahir, and that while the wife comes to weep on bright nights, on dark nights the devil-creature comes to feast.
i

The Water Clock


There is a massive water clock in the central square of DiralC, measuring time as it passes by means of collecting water in basins. Although some claim that the clock is a waste of water (and repeated attempts have been made to destroy it), it is one of the few monuments in DiralC considered a true historical site. It is guarded all day and all night by Royal Soldiers dedicated t o protecting it from harm. T h e clock is in the northern half of the city, taking up the central square of the plaza where the merchants hawk their wares. T h e clock ticks by allowing a measured stream of water t o slowly drip from a bowl at its apex. T h e bowl drips water through a small hole, and the hours are shown by a float which marks the falling level of the water. This float can be measured against the elaborate bronze scale that curls around the towering structure, marking off the minutes in carved symbols against the inner surface. T h e clock does more than measure the time of day, and bowls of different sizes are placed like the ornate cups of a fountain, measuring different intervals of time: days, months, weeks, and even a ten-year cycle. A metal ball is placed in the center of the clock, and, a t the beginning of each hour, one of the bowls empties, and the ball rolls down t o strike a drum-like gong marking the new hours start. This chime can be heard throughout the northern part of the city and even into the nearby fields. T h e water clock is ingeniously made, using a siphon to automatically recycle itself and wastes very little water. It
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Shaban Cemetey
T h e Shaban Cemetery is built along the road t o the city and contains the remains of thousands of faithful servants of JaIlam. Each grave is marked with two white stones and a small dome-like structure over them. The dome is usually carved of wood or (for wealthier patrons) made of stone. T h e ancient practitioners of Ahuramazda believe that cemeteries are vulgar and wasteful, places filled with idolatry toward humanity, and not the divine. This cemetery is one of the oldest in the Endless Sands, and has been repeatedly criticized, but that criticism is rapidly fading as the religion of JaIlam becomes more and more popular. In the center of the cemetery stands a stone mausoleum where the bereaved pray and recite their mantras to the One God of JaIlam. It is delicately carved of black marble, symbolizing the grief and darkness of death, but in the center of the ceiling is the gold star of hope, symbolizing that the dead are now with the One God, and that they will never know pain or fear again. This area is known t o be a popular hunting ground for Nemhan ghuls (see Part 48).

was built more than three hundred years ago, and it still keeps time accurately. A team of workers cleans and repairs the clock once a year at the New Years celebration, keeping it in excellent condition.

The Palace ofthe Rajah


The Diralt palace is small but ornate and stands atop the only rise within the citys walls. It is built inside the Khasbahs protective shadow and is guarded by both Royal Guardsmen of Diralt and of Quehabat. T h e palace is small, but it contains more than 40 rooms, multiple wings, and three massive gardens, one with a complete bath chamber looking out over the beautiful flowering area. To the uninformed, it appears to be a lovely, serene place where one can escape the citys troubles and the dangers of the Endless Sands. In reality i t is a death-trap as beautiful as the man-eating flower of the deep desert. The palace is haunted, and the ghosts of the past are not easily laid t o rest. They walk the hallways at night, bearing the visages of the many kings who were murdered within the magnificent building throughout its history. Numerous adventurers and claimants to the royal throne have attempted to rid the building of their bloody footsteps, but none have succeeded. It is said that the ghosts will walk its halls until the day a true-blooded King of DiralC at last sits upon the throne.

Because of their street contacts and the fact that they are often overlooked, beggars know a great deal about a city and its inhabitants. This, coupled with the fact that many beggars are simply thieves i n disguise, adds t o the probability that a beggar contact will be exceptional if one wishes to discover the truth about a situation. Thieves are common on the street, hiding their faces beneath the robes of the lowest class. And in their mixture, of course, are those men and women with absolutely no morals, willing to shed the blood of innocents for no more reason than a silver coin. T h e assassins may be trained individuals, or they may be thieves driven to such actions through desperation. Among the lowest castes of the city, such things often occur. In the stories of the Arabian Nights, thieves are only admirable when they reform and become good men, returning the wealth they have stolen and redeeming themselves through heroic deeds that help the people they once maligned. Of course, this has little to do with the reality that most thieves steal out of desperation rather than any moral failing.

Dervishes, Fakirs and Sufi


Although some believe the dervishes of the Endless Sands are madmen, these strange mystics are dedicated to religious fervor and turn their backs o n all earthly goods. The dervishes beg on the streets for food and simple comforts, but they do not own anything of their own besides their robes and their begging bowl. Genuine dervishes are wanderers who may have been cast out of their tribes or exiled from the city of their birth. Some are content to live a wandering life while others seek to exchange their paltry existence for the pleasures of t h e empirical world. T h e y live as teachers a n d g u i d e s , occasionally turning to lives of thievery or even darker means to keep themselves alive on the streets of these cold cities. Some dervishes are looking for religious enlightenment while others are seeking perfection in a certain area either martial or psychological. A true Sufi is someone who seeks religious perfection: a unity with the divine however they may idealize that being. They can channel their fervor, accomplishing astonishing feats of mental and physical prowess through their dedication t o their internal cause, but they are also dangerous fanatics. Some call their abilities miracles, and others attribute them to their immense mental control over their bodies.

The People ofthe Cities


There are many different types of people who inhabit the cities of al-Maghrebia. Characters in the Endless Sands may be drawn from any of these archetypes or from a mixture of several. Further, the following discussion outlines the roles of these individuals within the cities, allowing game masters to populate the lands of alMaghrebia with interesting and unusual individuals. For character templates and prestige classes based on these archetypes, see Part 4.

Beggars, Assassins, and Thieves The lowest classes of the cities must rely on gaining
money from others - legally or illegally - in order to survive. Begging is common, and nearly every street corner is rife with people dressed in rags, often sickly or crippled, and asking for scraps or coin from the passers-by. These people live harsh lives and rarely have homes of their own. They cluster for shelter under the eaves of buildings by night and hide from the sun by day in narrow alleys or under the shelters of honorable merchants.

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Fakirs are travelers, adventurers and guides who often know the Endless Sands from many journeys. They travel from city to city for no purpose other than to expand their minds and to learn. Devoted scholars, the fakirs are resources of lost knowledge, ancient myth, and other ancient information as well as more modern knowledge. Some are wandering magicians, trading their services in exchange for food or shelter, and others are scribes, lending their ability to read and write t o the masses that have no such education.

their true natures, but the other cities of al-Maghrebia look on them with great suspicion and distrust. Although they may live among the mortals of the Endless Sands, they are something else, and neither culture is willing to forget that. More about Djinn and their culture is available starting on page 50.

Djinn ~ n d ] ~ n n
Djinn and Jann are immortal creatures who live in the world of humanity because they have been exiled from their own. Once, the portal between the Land of Fire and Sorcery was open, and Djinn could pass freely between their world of magic and the land of mortality. But the portal has burned out, and those members of the faerie race that were in the Endless Sands are now trapped here, forever denied their home. Some are bitter about this isolation; others hardly miss the enchanted lands. T h e Djinn are spirits, both angelic and demonic, and possess little in the way of morality or compassion. T h e one thing by which they are bound is their honor. To a Djinni, honor is life, and t o break ones word causes the offender tremendous physical harm or even death. Some tribes worship the Djinn as godlike, serving their whims and offering their mortal lives for the amusement of the Master.

There are many forms of entertainers in the Endless Sands. Usually, they are traveling troupes who take their ows t o city after city, visiting small towns and major watering holes where tribes gather during the ringtime. Most entertainers fall into one of the following categories: dancers, storytellers, musicians, jugglers, fire-eaters, or poets. There are also the unusual - snake charmers, lion-tamers, and others. Everyone within the troupe must play two roles: that of entertainer and of caravan guard or set-up artist. There are no free es in an entertainment troupe, and those ho are unwilling to pull their weight find themselves abandoned in the desert. An exceptional entertainer might find himself or herself patronized, or invited t o stay, by a wealthy noble. These individuals are called personal entertainers. They are expected to write or perform flattering works about their patrons, and they must spend a significant amount of time dedicated to their art, because the product now reflects on their patron. They are given rooms in the patrons home, paid money for their artistic offerings, and asked t o perform for major audiences.

__

All Djinn can shape-change t o some extent. While some


are limited to humanoid forms, masters of this ability can transform into any animal, plant, mineral object, or even mist. However, each one has a peculiar marking that cannot be completely altered in the new form. A Djinni with brilliant golden eyes, for example, would continue to have those golden eyes in any other form. Transformation into an inanimate object such as a sword might convert those exceptional eyes into shining topaz, for example. Some Djinn have retreated from mortal kind completely, cutting themselves off from all life in a frenzy of sorrow over their lost home. Others have completely integrated, changing their lives t o seem almost mortal and leaving behind the Djinn culture. These Djinn must alter their appearance and recreate their lives every 40 years or so, or their immortality will be noticed and questioned. Those that choose this path can pretend t o be mortal for a very long time, potentially even taking jobs as mercenaries or adventurers in order t o spice up their long and empty lives. Some Djinn in Ma-Hallam are relatively open about

Eunuchs G. Ghulams
Eunuchs and ghulams are both fighters well-trained in the ways of protection and swordsmanship. Although eunuchs are typically harem guards, there are societies of mercenary fighters who also endure becoming eunuchs in order t o command significantly higher prices for their work. Decadent rulers employ guards for their valuables, particularly for their harems, their wives, or their daughters. Men who can be trusted are valued highly, and those who betray the oath of the guardsman are given little mercy. Many guardsmen (ghulams) are paid high prices for their labor and are more than simple mercenaries. They are trained and dedicated soldiers willing to exchange temporary loyalty for money. If one of these ghulams betrays that oath, they are murdered by their employer, assuming the other ghulams do not kill him first. Both eunuchs and ghulams are soldiers commonly found in the employ of wealthy or noble citizens. They only rarely hawk their abilities for wages in the street. An outcast

~~~~

eunuch or ghulam
is a man to be pitied: his word of honor has fallen so far that he cannot be trusted, yet he has not quite fallen far enough to be destroyed.

Priests
There are two main faiths in the land of the Endless Sands: the Old Religion, and JaIlam. The Old Religion preaches a covenant of aligned, polytheistic faith, while JaIlam is a tenet of monotheism and strength through fanaticism. Priests of the Old Religion are known as Qabal, and those of JaIlam are called Imam. These faiths have often come into conflict in the past, but you can still find priests o f both religions in the civilized lands of al-Maghrebia. Still, it has become apparent in the last generation that the Old Religion is becoming scarcer and scarcer and that polytheists are not welcome in many of the courts of al-Maghrebia. The Grand Sultan and all but one of the Rajah are members of JaIlam, and the Rajah of MaHallam seems t o be wavering in his devotion to the Old Religion. Priests of any religion are reverent figures. In the Endless Sands, any priest of any religion other than that of the One God of JaIlam will be placed in the same area as those of the Old Religion, and looked upon with scorn and dislike. More than 75% of the populace of the four cities follows JaIlam, and Imam are treated as holy men, honorable religious figures, and icons of the faith. Most of the major towns and cities of al-Maghrebia allow open debates of faith at certain places within their bazaars. Typically, debates and religious lectures will take place on the steps of temples or mosques, and those interested in preaching about their religion will congregate in such places in order to gain new worshippers. Many priests are also scholars and teachers not expected t o be the workers of miracles or truly touched by the gods of the faith. Those who have such blessings are extremely revered in any church, and are often advanced to positions of favor rapidly.

It is highly possible that either eunuchs or ghulams are slaves t o their masters: either sold into that condition as a child or placed there by their word of honor or an unsettled debt. In this case, they are bound t o do as they are asked and have no say in the matter. They can be freed by their owners at a whim, but this rarely occurs.

Ghaes
Ghazis are fanatic warriors sworn t o the holy cause of JaIlam. They are devout, highly religious, and believe that the One God controls their very thought and action. Usually brainwashed from childhood and raised in extremely controlling houses, the ghazis are often used as suicide warriors with no thought of their own other than t o serve the Mosque and their God. They are given honors in their church and often function as guardsmen for mosques or other religious sites in addition t o acting as personal bodyguards for priests and holy men. Ghazis are unquestioningly faithful, and it is unheard of that one should break his or her conditioning and act against the religion of JaIlam. They do have some free will, particularly when they are sent on a religious mission and not under the direct control of a priest or other holy figure. Many of them have families as devout as themselves. They are honorable men and women unused t o thievery or the darker side of life in the Endless Sands. They will fight unceasingly for what they feel t o be a holy cause, and they will gladly give their lives for those of the Faith.

Merchants
T h e societies of al-Maghrebia rely on trade for survival, exchanging water, food, and other valuable items across long distances so that both groups can survive. Caravans trek across the deep wastes, protected men against all kinds of threat anditry is a popular means of becoming very wealthy very rapidly. T h e merchant and his trade is a standard con within these societies, and they are 11 by those who wish t o make good deals. Caravans can be a quick source of wealth for those who are willing to brave the dangers of travel through the sands, and they are a

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very necessary source of food for the cities of al-Maghrebia. Among the four cities, many merchants are also crew or captains of sailing vessels. They may trade via the ocean, or they may make a living fishing and selling their catch to the nearest main port. Both caravans and ocean trade can be profitable if the merchant is canny and capable.

not above stealing goods or women for their own tribe when they believe they can get away with it. In the Deep Desert, the horse-nomads are quite powerful. trade routes, claiming a s to pass, and occasionally lightly guarded. Because not particularly welcome t merchants are too frightened them to refuse t o sell when one comes to their shops. Nomads are tolerated, feared, and, if possible, avoided.

Nobles and Sultans


Al-Maghrebia is feudal in nature, ruled by powerful sultans, rajahs, and other noble lines. They are conquerors, most often military as well as political leaders, and they are given the law in their hands to rule right and wrong and life and death. Nobles are to manage their portions of power, t o keep their accounts, and ensure that those who need patronage and protection are given such. In return, they are afforded the right of taxation, and the duty to levy an army if their own superiors are in need. Many heroes come from noble line since some noblemen have as many as I O wives, there are often sons and daughters who have nothing of their own t o inherit. These individuals are often in search of ways to make money, forge a name for themselves, or rise in their parents estimation in order to stand a better chance of being chosen for the inheritance. Still, such noble personages rarely wander the city streets, and it is more likely that one will find a noble either in full regalia with an escort of guards or else in disguise, keeping his or her true name and heritage secret against those who would attempt to kidnap and ransom him or her. Nobles often have strong codes of honor and live by their ethics in any circumstance - even when they cannot reveal their true names and lineages. They must marry according t o their station, and cannot deign t o engage in affairs with those of lesser station. They are educated, and, unlike the majority of people in the Endless Sands, can often read and write. In some cases, they may be multilingual.

the majority of the people of the Endless Sands, the word, vizier, ne thing: magic. T h e known for their magical nd some are Djinn in disguise, but they are also more than mere wizards. Some have no magic of their own, but learn the arts of alchemy or medicine t o such a degree that it seems magical to a common and uneducated mind. Others are true sorcerers, wizards, or enchanters taught their craft in the spires of Ma-Hallam or through long apprenticeship t o a traveling vizier. Two of the cities of al-Maghrebia boast working universities for the education of those of noble birth: Ma-Hallam and Quehabat. Those universities accept only 50 students each year, and the teachers who instruct are always viziers of high order. In the other areas of al-Maghrebia, viziers who wish to teach may take on a student or two for a short span of years, instructing them in the ways of medicine, alchemy, or other scientific and magical arts if the student shows promise. T h e great library of Ma-Hallam draws many viziers to the city, who hope to be allowed t o study the ancient texts or t o learn from the Masters of the Spire. Few are ever granted their wish since Ma-Hallam is a city of secrets as well as of truth. Many viziers are employed as chief advisors, and, in this capacity, they are allowed to rule. N o vizier in the Endless Sands may maintain a throne or keep feudal lineage. In order t o actually rule an area, the vizier must be an advisor and conceive a puppet dictatorship wherein he or she is the power behind the throne.

Nomads
T h e horse tribes of the Deep Desert rarely enter the cities of al-Maghrebia, but when they do it is almost always for brief trading forays. They dislike the enclosed space of the city, and they hate the smell and the society that has risen within them. Most of the nomad tribes prefer t o live in the desert, visiting the wabi for water twice a year when they fill and otherwise remaining alone. Many of these nomads are quite vicious and very dangerous, and they are
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Women
Women in al-Maghrebia are treated both like goddesses and like slaves. They are given the best and worst of all worlds. Depending on their birth, they may be rulers,

traders, military generals, or prophets and viziers, but, in general, it takes a great deal for a woman to escape the cultural norms of wife and mother. Prior to marriage, few Maghrebian men interact with women, and the two worlds are distinct and unique in their isolation. Men are raised apart from females, and sons are taken from their mothers when they reach the age of early maturity a t 1 3 . Although many other cultures would consider this oppressive behavior, the people of the Endless Sands are quite accustomed t o the distinctions placed between the sexes. Their traditions emphasize feminine modesty veils are common, and, in the case of noble society, they are absolutely expected - even from visitors. However, women are not as deeply oppressed as they may seem on the surface. They are taught to fight with knives to defend themselves, and, in al-Maghrebia, they are given final say on their marriages (with the exception of political unions between nobility, of course). Women have rights of bequest (in some cases, even inheriting positions of authority), and they have the right t o speak in public and to defend their views both legally and politically. Some old tales speak of women who gave up their femininity in order to live the lives of men. This is not unheard of even in these modern times. Such women are called hal-lista, or half-born, and they are treated in all ways like men. They may never marry, and they may never wear womens clothing or take a womans place in society once they have turned their back on the feminine world. Other women will scorn such an individual as an outcast. Women are expected to serve in behind-the-throne positions such as advisor, vizier, or accountant for the family resources. For them to take serious positions of public power is not unheard of, but they soon find themselves treated with scorn by the general populace, who see such things as an invasion of the mans domain.

uiu

1011

T h e civilized portions of the Endless Sands take up less than one-tenth its total space. Most of the land cannot be tilled, cannot be farmed, and supports little or no natural plant or animal life. It is therefore considered uninhabitable by all but the most tenacious nomads. Still, there are those who dare t o live in the Deep Sands, and still more travel across them year t o year.

According t o myth, the Deep Sands were once a garden of prosperity blessed by the gods with their fertility. It was a place of splendor where the gods dwelled and the ancient heroes walked. For the people who lived in this paradise, all other lands were disappointing because the sun god did not shine so brightly elsewhere. Ahuramazda loved the land, and the people served him. Today, though, the Deep Sands are a wasteland only barely able t o support even the most rudimentary life. The sky, scintillating with the dust of the vast deserts or washed clean by the heavy rains, makes everything appear brighter; a persons eyes can burn with the heat of it all. Outlines are sharper, colors clearer, shadows more somber than elsewhere. The Deep Sands is a place of violent contrasts, the snowy mountains t o the far north looking down on vast deserts where bitter cold and intense heat merge into a cycle of day and night.

The Badiya
T h e classical, fully nomadic Badiya tribe lives in tents and raises camels. Their life is simple, elegant, and has a definite culture of its own, complete with laws of behavior and judgments passed down by the ruler of each familyoriented tribe. T h e Badiya are true nomads with no interest in settling in one space, and they travel through the wastelands of the Dhakayah Mountains and the hills of al-Emmour as well as through the Deep Sands. When they come t o cities such as Quehabat and Ma-Hallam, they camp well outside the gates, sending in only a few traders and warriors at a time. They know that they are not fully welcomed in the cities, and they have no wish to stay. A Badiya tribe has no fixed, permanent camping place; its wandering and grazing area is more or less firmly established by tradition. Occasionally, a tribe may become stronger needing more land for their animals t o graze and thus increasing their tribal area, but this often causes wars between two groups who are both using the same territory. In the

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same manner, weaker tribes who can n o longer protect their territory find themselves pushed out by the stronger ones who require new land. Rival tribes have clashed throughout history over disputed wandering areas and grazing and water rights. This has led t o complex arrangements between tribes, oaths that may last one generation or many, and blood-wars that show n o possible end. T h e Badiya people are stubborn, honorable, and very bound by their oaths and those of their ancestors. They are quite capable of continuing a war over water rights or grazing territory for generations until one tribe or the other is completely destroyed. T h e Badiya are fairly poor, relying o n trade of the goods they produce (cloth and leather, primarily) and the sale of their animals either for meat or for breeding. With herds of sheep and goats as well as camels, the Badiya migrate from one meagerly fertile area to another, taking from each the sustenance and shelter that they can provide. After a time, the tribe moves on, and the earth replenishes itself in their absence as they make great migratory circles through their chosen domains.

The Deep Sands at a Glance


National Name: The Deep Sands
Area: 102,703 sq mi (Land: 102,703 sq mi;
Water:

o sq mi)

C h u t e : Hot, dry desert; rain is rare; cold offshore


air currents produce fog and heavy dew.

Terrain: Mostly low, flat desert with large areas


of rocky or sandy surfaces rising to small mountains in south and northeast.

Natural Resources: Phosphates, iron ore.

Land Use: Arable Land: 0%; Permanent Crops: 0%


Permanent Pastures: 19%;Forests and Woodland: 0%; Other: 81%

Cities: None, although there are semi-permanent


trade sites established at each of the two wadi watering holes - Emmwadi and Ohawadi - as well as some oases.

A tribe will come to the main cities only once or twice a


year t o trade animals and cloth for weapons and other metal items in addition to water and food supplies such as grain or flour. T h e Badiya are not an agricultural people, and such items are scarce among them. However, there is another time-honored means for the Badiya to gain this equipment and some money as well. T h e Badiya are known as a noble people but only to those they respect. As a culture, they have little regard for the city dwellers or for enemy tribes, and such caravans are, to their minds, fair targets for banditry, looting, and outright slaughter. It is dangerous to travel in the Deep Sands without a guide. Badiya tribes occasionally raid trade caravans, or, more often, collect payment for protection or for allowing the interlopers to use their roads, Throughout history, tribes have raided the settled lands in the areas bordering the desert, even making incursions into the areas that now belong to Quehabat and DiralC. Whenever the countries nearby became weak, politically and militarily, Badiya incursions and military strikes would gain control, wresting away the women, precious items, and food or water from the failing settlers. Like a pack of wolves ready to descend

Monetary Unit: Dirham Religions: JaIlam: 50% Ahuramazdan: 3 5%, other: 15% Natural Hazards: Hot, dry, dudsand-laden
sirocco wind can occur during winter and spring; widespread harmattan haze exists 60% of time, often severely restricting visibility.

at any sign of weakness, the Badiya tribes are always prepared to take advantage for their own best interest. This trait in particular makes them much hated among the city-dwellers, who see them as little more than thieves and assassins. However, it can certainly be said that once a Badiya has given his or her word, he or she will die rather than break it. Understanding how the Badiya tribes work and what they respect is invaluable when traveling thorough their domains.

Tribal Structure
T h e basic unit of Badiya social organization is the tribe, known as the ashira. Most ashira are made of extended family groups, but some of the larger tribes can only assess their linked heritage through marriages or distant relations. Others count the bonds of blood (warriors who have killed the enemy together) to be as 27

strong a tie as brotherhood. These tribes may range from I O t o over 200 people from warriors t o women and children to the elderly who choose t o ride in wagons rather than upon a steed. It is considered a mark of weakness t o ride in a wagon, and all those who do so are seen with pity. For this reason, the Badiya consider merchants and trade caravans t o be weak since most merchants prefer to ride in a comfortable wagon rather than on the back of a horse for long travels. Frequently, several large tribes will gather to form a large tribal federation known as a qabila. Qabilas are not permanent and rarely last longer than a single season or year. The structure usually gathers a t one of the large wadi, or watering holes, and establishes the unified tribe in order to more effectively govern the massive body of people while they are forced into a small area of habitation. The qabila tribe is usually led by a single sheikh, typically the strongest or most intelligent, who has bested his fellows in contests of wit and skill that last a week. During this week while the leader of the qabila is chosen, the tribes gathered will celebrate the opening of the wadi and the peace between them. Even if there are blood-oaths between two tribes or two individuals, no fighting is allowed during this Festival Week because it is believed that the gods themselves watch and would be displeased by bloodshed in anger or hatred at the wadi. The wadi will almost certainly dry up before the end of the season if this law is broken, and all the tribes will have to face the deadly dangers of a long, dry summer without enough water. Once the Sheikh of Sheikhs has been chosen a t the end of the celebration, he wields wide authority over the gathered qabila people, including a certain amount of authority over their personal and family affairs. Women may not marry without the permission of the Sheikh of Sheiks, and all significant trades must include some small tithe to him. In exchange, t h e Sheikhs tribe is responsible for maintaining the peace, keeping the religious and martial law, and preventing needless bloodshed between rival tribes. Few places in the desert are capable of supporting the life of even a small community for an extended period of time, and so t h e Badiya do not remain a t the large wadis past the end of the season. By that time, it has likely dried up almost completely, and what water is left will be stored for use over the dry summer. When the rains come again, the wadi will fill once more, and the tribes will gather. Until that happens, the tribes resume their independence and move back to their migratory patterns, content that another years trading season has passed. In such an unforgiving environment, any violation of territorial rights is viewed with severe disfavor. It is a hallmark of Badiya culture that such trespasses are neither

easily forgiven nor quickly forgotten. At the same time, a shared respect for the dangers and hardships of the desert imbues Badiya Culture with a profound and justly celebrated sense of hospitality. In the vast silence and brooding solitude of the wastelands, simply encountering another person was, and in some regions still is, a rather unusual and noteworthy event. A new face is cause for great interest, for happy generosity and careful etiquette, and for common civility - all values celebrated in Badiya poetry, proverbs, and songs.

Clothing
The Badiya people can be easily distinguished from their city-dwelling neighbors by their deep tans and rough skin. They are often worn by age more easily due to the
harshness of their lives, and their clothing and jewelry is very distinctly different from the items seen in the cities of the Endless Sands, Badiya wear jalabiyya, a long, hooded robe that covers their skin from the sun and is comprised of many layers of white cloth. White reflects the sun and does not absorb the heat, so it is a popular choice for everyday wear. For festivals, weddings, and other occasions, Badiya have ornate coats that can be worn over their jalabiyya. These coats are often festooned with jewelry and intricate needlework, and can be quite magnificent. T h e most easily recognized aspect of a Badiyas attire is the headgear. The people of the JaIlam religion believe that a persons head should be covered at all times, and thus the men of the cities often wear small turbans. T h e Badiyas headgear is quite distinct and more layered, built t o protect their heads from the boiling sun and complete with a veil that can be wrapped around the face when the wind is high t o help protect them from stinging sand and other dangers. This headpiece consists of a long strip of thin cloth known as a kufiyya wrapped with a rope that holds the headpiece in place even in the strongest winds. T h e head-ropes color, length, and ornamentation carries great significance. It is indicative of the wearers ability to uphold the obligations and responsibilities of manhood. As a Badiya man becomes a warrior, bells or carved ivory totems are added t o his headpiece as decoration and in commemoration of his kills. Badiya women, too, signal their status with their headgear. While all women are required t o keep their hair covered out of modesty and for the sake of cleanliness, married women wrap about their forehead a black cloth rather than t h e brightly colored cloths of those women seeking a permanent mate.

Urud
T h e first denizens of the Deep Sands attempted to raise a city within the scorching heat. They tore up the land to find the blood within, and they built high walls against

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sandstorm and burning wind. This city was named Urud. Its people were said t o be among the most tolerant empire-builders the world has ever seen, greeting those they might subjugate with open hands and peace rather than the weapons of war. They also worshipped the old god Ahuramazda, Lord of the Sun and of the Shining Heavens, but they never attempted t o proselytize and allowed astonishing freedom of self-government among their subject peoples. For over two centuries they maintained a world of law, peace, and justice. And yet, they were destroyed - as much by the viciousness of a war with Quehabat as by their own pride. T h e people of Urud set themselves against the very gods they worshipped, and, in return, they were destroyed by them. They believed the king held power because of the gods; moreover, they thought their king was a god. To maximize his power and control, a bureaucracy and centralized government were established along with taxation and involuntary military service. Urud was centuries ahead of its time, and was considered unconquerable. Urud was, by all accounts, a magnificent city with golden walls and jewels tiling the streets of the upper quarter. There was said t o be enough wealth in the city coffers to pave roads from Urud t o Quehabat - and still offer a significant ransom for the Princesss hand. T h e gardens of Urud were themselves phenomenal, and are still legendary throughout the Endless Sands. Nebuchan the Third, also known as the Golden Rajah is credited for their creation. It is said that they were built to please his first wife, a beautiful Djinni named Amytis, who refused t o leave the lands of Fire and Sorcery because she did not believe the mortal world could ever offer splendor equal t o her homeland. Nebuchan arranged t o build the gardens, and extracted a promise from the Djinn princess: if she found them as beautiful as the lands of her home, she would marry him and be his forever.

the most magnificent city ever built has been lost t o the sand, forever buried, and possibly forever lost.

The Poet of U r d
Poetry has been the main force responsible for keeping the old traditions alive, and, in many ways, poetry provides the last remaining links with and hints toward the ancient secrets of Urud. There is one poet in particular whose ancient works have been passed down and preserved for history. These poems are now anonymous since the sands swallowed up the poets true name with the rest of the Empire of Urud several hundred years ago. But they speak of the city as a living thing, a place of great wealth and golden walls, fountains of gems and magic that brought unquenchable water from t h e cold depths of the earth to serve as rivers and bathing-places for the countless beautiful virgins of the city.

It took more than thirteen years t o construct the Hanging


Gardens. Nebuchan planted tremendous amounts of brightly colored tropical plants on the roof of an outdoor palace, designed precisely for Amytiss needs. T h e gardens were built on top of stone arches that stood nearly thirty yards above ground and watered from the river deep below the city by a complicated mechanical system. When in bloom, the gardens held every color of the rainbow, and some of the flowers and plants within their realm were actually carved of silver, gold, and gems so the garden might bloom year-round t o please her. When Amytis saw the gardens, she said nothing, but a single tear fell into the fountain from her eyes. T h e two were married that day, before the sun rested in its cradle. Yet all of that, all the glory and wealth, all the opulence and the history of

In the last years of the citys existence, the Poet of Urud wrote a long, epic work known as T h e Adventures of Hajji Baba. Hajji Baba is always putting his nose into affairs that d o not concern him and, thus, getting involved in difficulties from which he extricates himself by a triumphant display of wit and resourcefulness. H e is

not respectful, and, in fact, he epitomizes all of the worst aspects of the noble class. He talks with kings as insolently as he talks with women, landlords, and viziers. Gregarious and friendly, he scorns the worlds malice and comes up laughing in the end. Yet still, he is wily and clever, and his wit saves him from a score of enemies, eventually bringing great wealth and prestige to Urud. It is said t h a t this poem was written for the wedding feast of the Caliph of Urud and the daughter of the Sultan of Quehabat. T h e tale is filled with a fierce gentleness of wit, and a singular addiction t o adroitly embroidered tales. Yet in their pleasurable stories, the poet describes Urud very specifically and very precisely, as if passing some

information along t o someone who did not know Uruds layout. From snippets of the poem, viziers and scholars have been able t o create a very elaborate map of Urud, down t o the passages beneath the palace that the hero used t o escape capture in the donjons. Perhaps if one could discover the resting place of the Urudian ruins, these poems would prove more than tales but maps, able t o lead the adventurous into the heart of the Grand Palace of Urud and potentially into the massive storage chambers said t o house enough money to ransom a thousand Rajahs. Perhaps one day, some adventuring soul will make the attempt, but until then, Urud will remain only a desert memory, its gold and jewels drowned forever in the uncaring sands.

The Wadi
Emmwadi and Ohawadi are the largest oases within the Endless Sands and are popular gathering places during the rainy season. These basins gather the rains and swell into flooded, marshy water sources which are used by the Badiya tribes throughout the entire year. Tribes gather a t these two locations, sharing the ground in order to have access t o the water, and they often carry away barrels of water for use during the dry summer seasons. In extremely wet seasons, Ohawadi actually swells into a flowing river that runs t o the Bitter Ocean, creating a new (but temporary) trade route. This is not always beneficial since the fresh water of the wadi is emptied into the inland sea and lost to the salt of the Bitter Ocean. Such years are known as the years of Kah-Azate, or fleeing water, and usually last about four seasons. For four seasons thereafter, popular superstition holds that the rainy seasons will be unusually dry and there will be little water for anyone.

The Fallen Tower


Deep in the sands of the desert, far from any signs of human habitat, and countless miles from any source of water or food, there is a monument t o some forgotten people that lies against the wind and the sun. T h e spire is massive, and although it barely stands above the sandy wastes, it once must have towered almost impossibly high. Scholars believe that there may be an entire complex at the base of the tower, but how far beneath the sands one would have to go to substantiate that rumor is completely unknown. Most of what is known is little more than legend among the Badiya tribes, who claim that the tower was constructed by the twin children of Ahuramazda and his mortal concubine. Allegedly, the children intended t o use this tower t o step into the heavens and join their parents. Ahuramazdas true wife, the goddess Fatima, despised them and cast t h e m o u t o f t h e heavens. W h e n she discovered the tower, it was almost completed, and so Fatima pressed her hand upon it and drove it deep into the sands so that it could never reach the sun. Now, only about 40 feet of tower remains above the shifting dunes of the Deep Desert, but from the size and shape, scholars believe it once stood over five hundred feet high - an astonishing task, and one that modern architects could not replicate. Construction o f such a tower remains a mystery. T h e area lacks the stone deposits, and the local wood (still miles away) is mostly palm. T h e spire seems to have been built primarily in clay bricks, sealed together with rods of iron to lend it strength. These bricks were baked in the sun to create enduring, stone-like hardness. The top of the tower also contains a strange construction material: a type of tar created from the massive peat fields near the northern oceans. This substance would likely have been carried t o the site by slaves and then heated in boiling cauldrons before it was used in the construction. According t o the ancient legend, the tower seems t o have been constructed in a pyramid-like shape with multiple square towers at each corner that gradually decreased in breadth. Poetry recovered from other ancient sites describes a winding ascent along the outside, broad enough to allow horses and chariots t o pass each other and even t o turn. At the apex is an altar where, presumably, the twin sons would one day call down the sun god, and that room remains - incomplete and still showing signs of construction - lofting only tens of feet above the sands that now hold the rest of the tower prisoner.

The People ofthe Deep Sands


The people that live in the sandy desert and in the wastelands of the Endless Sands are very different from those of the cities. Although there are similarities, the archetypes of the Badiya are far more free than their equivalents in the cities, and they are often far more dangerous. Cities are sheltered, safe from the attacks of monsters and beasts while the tribes live in constant watchfulness, always aware that they could be the target of a rampaging lion or something far more strange and deadly from the deepest of the sands.

B e d d and Fuqara
In the language of the tribes, the word, fuqara, means literally holy people. Among Badiya it signifies a shaman or a person endowed with supernatural powers. Consequently, their arbitration is sought in tribal disputes, and they are believed t o possess healing powers through the use of incense and herbs. T h e Fuqara constitute a branch of the Bedoul, a larger group of holy men that also includes dervishes, madmen, and the very old or very wise. T h e Bedoul guard the ancient tribal secrets of the Badiya and are considered sacred by even the most depraved and honorless member of the tribes. When two tribes are a t war, and one conquers the other, the Bedoul are allowed t o take their own lives by walking into the desert sands with no food or water rather than be despoiled or claimed by the conquerors blade. It is considered a mark of great honor t o be allowed this death, and only the truly revered are given this option. T h e two branches of shaman are closely related, but they come from different roots. T h e fuqara are believed t o have originated in the wastelands, where herbs are plentiful. From there, they came t o Emmwadi, where they mingled with the tribes of the desert and came to be considered a part of their culture. Nevertheless, true Fuqara do not have the same features or coloration as the darker-skinned Badiya tribes, and they only marry among themselves. In view of their distinguished status among the Bedoul, the Fuqara are custodians of the sacred relics and shrines of each tribe. These temples are erected each year and visited by all the people of the gathered tribes of the wadi. The worship at the shrines occurs at the end of the yearly festival of the qabila, and all those who go must wear their best clothes as if they were dressing for a wedding. There, the Sheikhs and the Fuqara slaughter sheep as sacrifices and cook them in huge cauldrons. These animals are first blessed by the Fuqara and the priests of each tribe, and then the people feast. Afterwards, the Badiya have horse races until evening, and the Fuqara of each tribe spend the night by t h e shrine, discussing the lessons and changes of the year.
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There are two sources of magic in the Endless Sands: religion, and sorcery, All wizards, sorcerers, viziers, and other enchanters are considered viziers to the common populace of alMaghrebia, and all religious casters are considered . imam. T h e two most common religions in the Endless Sands are the Old Religion - worshippers of the pantheon of Ahuramazda, King of the Sun - and the new but extremely popular religion of the cities: JaIlam. It is not uncommon for those worshippers of the wrong religion to be persecuted or even assassinated while in areas populated by the faithful of the other; these two doctrines are openly at war.

Fatima is also the moon goddess and the keeper of all mortal souls. Her name means, the Creator. She is also given such titles as Source of the Sun, Tree of Paradise, the Moon, and Fate. Is it said that Fatima existed from the beginning of the material world, and that Ahuramazda did not create her so much as he discovered her among the stars and brought her upward into the heavens t o be his bride.

A member of the Old Religion regards the physical world


as a battlefield and sees himself or herself as a soldier under the chieftainship of Ahuramazda. A persons ultimate goal is not one of this world; it is t o do battle against the forces of Darkness and to right wrongs. Devotees of the Old Religion seek to be in tune with the world around them, to explore every possibility, and to be a source of joy, Because it is a religion of nature and one developed by the nomadic Badiya, it is integral t o live in temperance and moderation. When one over-exploits the bounties of nature, one kills ones self as well. Life depends on the bounties of the earth. Thus, one must live in balance with them so that they are not destroyed. According to the beliefs of the Old Religion, a persons soul remains within the precincts of this world for three nights after death. During those nights, the soul is guided and protected by an angel known as Dastagire Ravaan. T h e angel will eventually lead the soul into Heaven if the person has been good or t o oblivion if evil. Heaven is known as the land of Behest, and oblivion is called the Land of Dozakh. During the three days, the angel and the person visit parts of his or her life, discussing the meaning of the contributions he or she has made to the world.

The Old Religion


The ancient religion
of the Badiya tribes was once practiced throughout the Endless Sands. In recent years, its influence has dwindled as its devotees move to the cities and are converted to the beliefs of JaIlam. Yet among some tribes, the worship of the Ancient Ones is still dominant, and, even in the cities, the occasional worshipper can be found (usually hiding his or her true beliefs lest the fanatics of JaIlam turn violent).

A person is judged based on his or her dedication to the gods and to the world around him or her. T h e virtues of
this religion are simplicity, frugality, and honesty and all are tied up in a persons word.

Children o Fatima f
Everyone knows that there are foul monsters in the Endless Sands. Creatures that are half-human and halfanimal, or worse, terrible dragons and beasts that seek nothing other than to appease their hunger and cause pain. Legends say that Fatima was beautiful but barren. She could bear no children for Ahuramazda, and their marriage was broken. She sought any way t o fulfill her wifely duties, but, in the end, the only person who could help her was an old Badiya Fuqara named Mehanstra. She begged Fatima not t o undertake the ritual necessary t o become pregnant because she knew that all things must have balance in the world, but Fatima was resolute. She would give her husband children no matter what t h e cost.

The primary deities of the Old Religion are Ahuramazda,


the sun god, and Fatima, his wife. Their four children are the principal entities identified with the forces of nature: Anlil, the god of wind; Sin, the goddess of fire; Enhidu, the bitter and weeping god of water and Pavti, the goddess of the earth. The four natural elements (fire, air, water, and earth) are each given honor as part of the creation of a human body - fire for the heat, blood as water, flesh as earth, and the breath is given by the wind. Without these four, humanity would not exist, and only by the birth of the human soul through t h e workings of Fatima, the soul-maker, do mortals live.

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So, deep in the desert, the two women performed the ceremony, and although it resulted in the birth of Fatimas four godly children, it also heralded the dawn of monsters throughout the desert sands. These beasts were brought to life due to Fatimas stubbornness, for there must be balance between good and evil. To bring forth the four children of Fatima and Ahuramazda, the entire world suffered a plague of evil, and, even today, the price is still paid in blood as these fiends seek flesh to feed upon.
Thus, the monsters of the Endless Sands are often called the Children of Fatima since it was her arrogance and pride that caused them to exist. Consequently, Ahuramazda turned away from his wife after this cataclysm, and that is the reason the sun and moon n o longer share the sky by day. Ahuramazda, eager for more children, has taken a number of mortal concubines and sired many half-god children (or at least, many who claim to be). Fatima hates all such rivals t o her own blood and often attempts to destroy or humiliate the mortal progeny of Ahuramazda.

The Obatu Plant


There is a plant in the Endless Sands that grows even in the deepest desert. If there is an ounce of water, it can bloom for days, spreading its seeds on the wind and propagating itself even in the harshest conditions. The Badiya believe this plant to be the soul of the desert itself and use it in a number of ancient rituals of the Old Religion. Known as the Obatu Plant, its flesh, twigs, and berries are a mild stimulant that is said to soothe the soul. The Badiya make an alcoholic drink from the leaves of this plant, but i t does not affect one like other spirits. No matter how much a person drinks, he or she will not become angry or violent but knows only peace. Further, the berries of the plant are curative and have great properties to help the injured or the sick overcome their troubles.

Worship
T h e Old Religion has numerous ceremonies and holy days, b u t it is essentially a simple religion for the common people. Worshipping Ahuramazda o r the pantheon of the Old Religion requires the faithful to send their prayers at various times of the day: Ahuramazda is worshipped at dawn while Fatima is revered at dusk. T h e Four are always offered tribute a t noon when the heat of the sun is at its fullest. Offerings of grain are the primary gifts, and prayers to the Old Religion are almost always accompanied by soft singing, clapping, or reverent whispers. It is a joyous faith, and those who follow it are encouraged to let the gods know that they are pleased with the gods creation - the world - and appreciate their beneficent power (or, in Fatimas case, that one is respectful and fearful of her strength).

Mechanics: Those who drink Obatu wine must make a Fortitude Save beginning a t D C 5. Each
successive serving increases the Saving Throw by 3 . Failure indicates the character has become drunk. H e or she loses 2 points of Dexterity temporarily, but gains I point of Wisdom and I point of Charisma. Every two servings the character has after becoming drunk steals another 2 points of Dexterity and adds a point of Wisdom and Charisma. Once drunk, the character must make another Fortitude Save a t DC 12 to avoid passing out. Every hour, the character must Save again with the DC increasing by 2. Characters whose Dexterity reaches I or 2 (it cannot fall to 0 ) automatically pass out. While under the influence of the wine, the character feels calm and at peace. H e or she will fight only to defend himself or herself.

The berries if ingested will heal damage. Each heals I d 8 Hit Points of damage, but the maximum number that can be consumed in one sitting is three. They are too potent to be easily digested.

Festivals and Holy Days


When members of the Old Religion meet, they say to one another, Ushta-te, or may you find happiness.

Traditionally, such people gather six times a year for the festivals, or gahambars, that celebrate the turning of the seasons. These gahambars are celebrated in honor of the Sun, the Moon, the Four, and then the lesser celebrations of plants, cattle and humanity. Traditionally each of these gahambars lasts for five days, and the festivities include much food, merriment, and complex rituals and prayers. T h e Badiya welcome visitors to five of their six rituals,

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Imam

of AhuramaZda

The priests of Ahuramazda make up most of the imam of the Old Religion. T h e imam of Ahuramazda are famous for

Clerics Ofthe Old Religion


Ahuramazda Ahuramazda is associated with the Domains of Sun, Desert, Fire, and Healing. His Clerics must be of Good Alignment. His favored weapon is the sun-headed mace. Fatima The Domains with which Fatima is associated are Evil, Trickery, Protection, and Travel. All imam of Fatima must be Evil in Alignment. Her favored weapon is the three-headed flail.

wearing the gods icon - a plain golden disc - even in the cities where they must hide their true faith. Often, the symbol of Ahuramazda is also tattooed over the heart in intricate patterns, indicating that their bodies are temples to the King of the Sun. Ahuramazda watches over all the free people of the land, but he has a special fondness for maidens and brave warriors. H e is said t o take concubines from unwed mortal women, and several rajahs and sheikhs claim t o be descended from Ahuramazdas half-mortal children.

Imam o Fatima f
T h e majority of Fatimas imam are female and they make up the second largest percentage of priests of the Old Religion. Fatimas imam are tolerated in the Badiya tribes because Fatima is very powerful. She must be pacified, or she will take great vengeance on those who deny her. Still, they are not seen as favorable or friendly priests, and their worship is reviled and destroyed within the cities of alMaghrebia. Fatimas servants wear dark clothing and bear the symbol of the Ladys Hand tattooed upon their body. Their holy symbol is a womans palm covered in dark tattoos.

The Four The priests of the Four share the following Domains: Luck, Desert, and Animal. Each offers a fourth according to his or her element. Anlil grants Air Domain spells, and Sin offers Fire Domain. Enhidu provides Water Domain spells, and Pavti grants access to the Domain of Earth.
All imam of the Four must be of Chaotic Alignment.

Imam ofAnlil, Sin, Elthidu or Pavti There are four lesser gods of the Old Religion, whose
priests are now nearly eradicated from the Endless Sands. Some, however, still cling to their worship among the Badiya tribes, but to find a true priest of the Four is difficult. T h e Four are: Anlil, the god of wind; Sin, the goddess of fire; Enhidu, the bitter and weeping god of water and Pavti, goddess of the earth.

ianning them only from the Gahambar of the Moon, Nhich is a celebration of death rather than one of life. The Badiya refer to this gahambar as Fatima Muktad, or ;he Moons Favor, and believe that, during the festival, the spirits and souls of the dead are ritually invited by the living into this world. T h e priests perform special rites over cooked food, fruits, and fresh flowers during which the spirits of the departed are invoked in order to seek their protection and blessings. Throughout the celebration, the living must keep their homes extra clean and be in a state of heightened consciousness so as t o experience the presence of the spiritual world.

JaIlam
Belief in one god ( H e W h o Has No Name) constitutes t h e very foundation of JaIlam. There is no deity other than the Creator and no power on earth that is not His. He is indivisible and absolutely transcendent. T h e True God is almighty, the Creator and the Sustainer of the universe, similar t o nothing and nothing is comparable to Him. T h e god of JaIlam has no shape or form and n o pantheon. H e rules alone, covering all the world in his blanket and claiming the right of power over all things. His followers believe t h a t he has always existed and will always exist, and that all other gods are simply bastardized from his true nature. These beliefs are the heart of the JaIlamic religion. From a small group of prophets come the words of the faith, wrapped into a single text known as the Rukhbat. In the early days of JaIlam, there were many battles, and the settled people of Salt (one day t o be known as Quehabat) were

The alternate festival, celebrating the Sun, is known as Noruz. This marks the most important day of the year
and is recognized t o be the crowning festival, both of the Sun and of the Sheikhs or tribal leaders of the Old Religion. N o r u z bridges the old year t o the New Year with the advent of spring. T h e resurgence of life takes place during this period with the symbolic victory of the forces of light over darkness. It is customary to exchange gifts, wear new clothes, settle disputes and go t o the Temple of the Sun in order t o reaffirm this day to be one of renewal, hope and joy.

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overcome by the t r u t h o f the JaIlam faith. Despite persecution by the Badiya tribes and a series of bloody battles known as the Prophets War, the people of Sal6 persevered and kept their religion alive. As their city grew and more people were integrated, JaIlam became the heart of their settled province - its beliefs became synonymous with brick homes, permanent dwellings and trade sites, and the comforts of a non-nomadic life. T h e Six Beliefs of the Rukhbat are known to all good servants of JaIlam, and are taught to their children from the time they can walk. They are: Belief in the Creator as the one and only G o d and JaIlam as the only path to his wisdom. Belief in angels and other creatures of magic sent by the Creator as guides. Belief in the Rukhbat as the true words of JaIlam and the breath of the Creator. Belief in the Prophets of Sal6 and all that they foretold. Belief in the Day of Judgment, when the sands will rise and swallow the unfaithful forever. Belief in predestination because the Creator has already chosen our path in this world. Halajhim, the Prophet, was the first of all the worshippers of JaIlam to set forth these beliefs. H e is the leader of the JaIlam faith, and many say he is the only true prophet of the Creator. Halajhim was once a simple architect in the town of Salt, but he saw faith and religion as a type of building and set himself to creating it with solid foundation and sturdy faith. H i s endeavors captured the minds of others, who asked him to speak on JaIlam, and his words became the basis for the Rukhbat, the holy text of JaIlam.

G b a e s and Bakaghaes
Ghazis are fanatical warriors sworn t o the holy cause of JaIlam. They are devout, highly religious, and believe that God controls their very thought and action. They are willing to die at the word of an imam priest with no thought of hesitation. Such devotion is both revered by and frightening to the common follower of JaIlam. Some of the servants of JaIlam question whether the Ghazi tradition should be maintained. They are dangerous fanatics, and no price is too high for a Ghazi who believes himself or herself to be following the will of the Creator. Many have died in suicide missions, and others have killed faithful members of the JaIlam tradition simply to fulfill some other objective. Yet even the most well-trained Ghazi has some amount of humanity with which the average person can identify They are men and women, faithful, who lead lives within the mosque and may even be married with a family. Some have alternate means of income - a job as a carpenter, or they work in the mosque as well as guarding it. Although they are dangerous, they are still somewhat normal. Worse than the common Ghazi, though, are the secret templars of the JaIlam Church, those known as the Bakaghazi. Most of the faithful of the JaIlam tradition have never met a Bakaghazi, nor, if given the opportunity, would they wish to meet one. The Bakaghazi are those already condemned in the eyes of the Creator. They have fallen so far from Grace that they cannot be redeemed outside their own deaths. These men and women are not only willing t o die for the cause, it is their only thought. Only by dying as a holy martyr will they be spared the eternal agony of fire. The Bakaghazi are kept in the deepest sanctuaries of the mosques, and many are irredeemably insane. They are like dogs on chains, waiting to bring death and find their salvation through viciousness. These creatures are hardly human, kept in torment and cursed t o remember the crime they have committed against God and the Faith. There is no peace for them, no chance of a normal life. The only hope they have is t o die brutally with great suffering and, therefore, with hope of redemption.

Worship
Ritual prayer, five times a day, is the essence of JaIlam worship, whether done in the mosque or anywhere else. It is integral to keep ones mind open to the will of the Creator, and this can only be done through prayer. Before the midday prayers at the end of each week, the mosques imam will give a talk on a relevant subject based on a piece of text found in the Rukhbat or o n a well-known story about the Prophets.

A niche in one of the walls of the mosque, called a


mihrab, shows the direction that the worshippers should face in order to face Quehabat, the sacred city of the faith. As Quehabat was the birth and final resting place of Halajhim the Prophet, it is considered appropriate to pray facing the city. In this way, the followers not only give reverence to Halajhim, they also ask him t o carry their words to God. Everyone sits on the floor, and every place of prayer within the mosque is equal in status.

35

Although women can attend the mosque, when they do, they sit separately from the men. This is not designed to force the women into lesser positions before God, but rather to help stop any possible distraction for those in prayer.

Festivals and Holy Days

of the new moon is seen in the sky after the last great rain. I t lasts, as most mourning periods do, for one month, during which the JaIlamic people fast during the day and eat only a t night. Each member of the JaIlam faith is called upon t o remember that Halajhim died because it was the Creators will. T h e festival not only allows for a long period of studying the Rukhbat and remembering the life of the Prophet, but also reminds the faithful that they should also be submissive to God and have a great willingness t o sacrifice anything to Gods wishes. If the Prophet, who was greater than any mortal that has ever been, bent his knee to the Creator and offered his life when asked, then how can any other person dare t o turn away from the will of God? At the end of the festival of Idul-Halij, presents are exchanged from parents to children and from friend t o friend. These presents are in memory of the great gift that Halajhim left behind for his people after his death - the Holy Text of Rukhbat.

Imam o JaIlam f
Although JaIlam is a monotheistic religion, its imam often choose t o follow their Creator in many different manners. JaIlam has a tremendous number of followers and is a very widespread and powerful religion. The priests of JaIlam wear silken robes made of the finest cloth covered at the hem with intricate needlework depicting tiled patterns such as are found in most mosques.

The high priest of JaIlam is the brother of the Grand Sultan. His name is Makallah JahFedoul Saluman ibn Ibrahim al-Kharajah, b u t he has renounced all titles and claims to the throne of al-Maghrebia.
There are only two JaIlam festivals set down in the Rukhbat: Eiduk-Itr and Idul-Halij. T h e first commemorates the birth of the Prophet Halajhim. This is the JaIlam New

unclean in the eyes of the Creator. T h e second festival, that of the Idul-Halij, marks the day of the Prophets death. It is a time of mourning when women will weep openly on the streets and all the faithful wear black in commemoration of the death o the holiest man. T h e festival begins when the first sight

36

This portion of the book provides new Prestige Classes, new Feats, and other information t o help fill out characters for the Endless Sands setting. All of the material in this section is considered Open Game Content.

Domains: All Bedoul gain the Domain, Divination. They may also choose two of the three following Domains: Animal, Strength, Travel.
Bonus Feats: At 3rd, 6th, and 9 t h Levels, t h e Bedoul gains a Bonus Feat. T h e character must choose them from Table 4-2: Bedoul Bonus Feats. W t s (Ex): As a trained and experienced negotiator, diplomat, and haggler, the Bedoul gains a + 3 Class Bonus to Diplomacy Skill checks. Spontaneotrs Augury (Ex): The Bedoul may channel stored spell ability into Divination spells not prepared ahead of time. T h e Bedoul may lose a prepared spell in order to cast any Divination spell. Secrets ofthe Old (Su): T h e Bedoul may choose t o add a Luck Bonus equal to the characters Charisma Bonus to his or her Saving Throws or t o someone elses. T h e duration is one round per Class Level of t h e Bedoul. This ability may only be used once per day.

Frestke Classes
In addition t o the Character Classes available in the standard game, players may select any of the following Prestige Classes for their characters.

Bedoul
Among the Badiya, a Bedoul is a shaman or a person endowed with supernatural powers. Consequently, their arbitration is sought in tribal di utes, and they possess healing powers through the use of incense and herbs. The Bedoul guard the ancient tribal secrets of the Badiya and are considered sacred, They Table are honored among all tribes Level Attack as holy men, and they are I +O both diplomats for tribal dis2 +I putes and unquestioned ser+2 3 vants of the Old Religion. +3 4

4 1 Bedod Class Features M:


Fort
+2

Ref
+O +O

Will
+2

+3 +3

Requirements: 4th Level, Divine


Spellcasting Ability, Knowledge (Religion) Skill: 4 ranks, Heal Skill: 4 ranks

5
6

+3

7
8 9
IO

+4 +5
+6/+1 +6/+I

+4 +4 +5 +5
+6 +6

+I +I +I +2 +2
+2

+3 +3 +4 +4 +5 +5
+6

Class Features Domains Wits Bonus Feat


Spontaneous Augury Bonus Feat Secrets of the Old Bonus Feat Burn the Temple

Hit Die: d8 Skill Points per Level: 2


Intelligence Modifier

+7/+2
Spells*
ut 1+1

+7

+3 +3

+6

+7

+
Level
I 2

2na
-

3rd

Class Skills: Alchemy,


Concentration, Craft, Diplomacy, Heal, Knowledge (Old Religion), Profession, Sense Motive, Spellcraft

4
5
6

2+I 2+1 3+I 3+1 3+I

Weapon and Armor Proficiency:


Bedoul are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, with all types of armor, and with shields.

7 8
9
IO

4+1 4+1
4+I 4+1

1+1 2+1 2+1 3+1 3+I j+I ++I 4+1

4th
-

5th

I+I 2+1 2+I 3+I 3+I

3+I

I+I 2+1 2+1 3+I

1+1 2+I

Class Features: Bedoul gain the


following Class Features at a rate shown on Table 4-1.

* - I n addttion to the indicated number of spells per day, the Bedoul may cast one Domain spell per level to which he or she has access. The I on the spell chart destgnates this bonus.

37

Listen, Profession, Sense Motive, Ride.

Table 4 4 : Bedoul Bonus Feats


Bedoul must choose their bonus Feats from the SANDS are list below. New Feats from ENDLESS highlighted in bold. Badiya Archery Chariot Mastery Dervish Attack Empower Spell Enlarge Spell Extend Spell Extra Turning Gift of the Old Great Fortitude Guardsmans Stance Haggle Heighten Spell Iron Will Lightning Reflexes Maximize Spell Quicken Spell Silent Spell Still Spell Toughness Weapon Shield

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Ghazis are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, with all types of armor, and with shields.

Special Restriction (Needfor Atonement): To become a Ghazi, a


character must be a devout adherent of JaIlam and have committed some great sin for which he or she desperately wishes t o atone.

Class Features: Ghazis gain Class Features at a rate indicated on Table 4- 3 . Each is described below.

The Creators Blessing (Su): A Ghazi may add his or her


Charisma Modifier to all Saving Throws.

Guardsmans Stance Feat (Ex): Ghazis gain a free level in this Feat multiple times. T h e Constitution requirement for it is waived. Eye ofFaith (Ex): At this level, the Ghazi may apply his or her Dexterity Bonus to all Sense Motive checks. T h e characters instincts and reactions are trained t o catch even the smallest idiosyncrasies in those who might cause harm t o his or her charge. Darkvision (Su): T h e character may see in the dark to a range of 60 feet.

Burn the Temple (Su): T h e character now has the ability to sacrifice his o r her own H i t Points in order to channel additional spells from his or her chosen deity For every 5 H i t Points sacrificed in this manner, the Bedoul gains an additional i s t Level spell. The character attempt to channel more potent spells, but the cost is much greater. T h e Bedoul may channel a 2 n d Level spell by sacrificing i o H i t Points. 3rd Level spells cost 20 H i t Points. 4th Level spells require an expenditure of 3 5 Hit Points, and a 5 th Level spell may only be channeled through the sacrifice of 50 H i t Points. T h e H i t Points sacrificed in this manner may not be regained through any magical means or via the Heal ability They can only be restored through natural rest and recuperation.

Aura ofDefense (Su): Beginning at 6 t h Level, the Ghazi


radiates an aura of protection and confidence that gives all followers of JaIlam within 10 feet an additional +2 Morale Bonus t o all their Saving Throws.

Ghae
Ghazis are fanatical warriors sworn to the holy cause of JaIlam. They are devout, highly religious, and believe that God controls their very thought and action. They are both honored and feared throughout the Endless Sands because they are willing to die at the word of an imam with no thought of hesitation.

Requirements: Lawful Alignment, Base Attack Bonus +4,


Cleave Feat, Toughness Feat, Knowledge (Religion) Feat, Need for Atonement (see below).

Hit D e dIO i: Skill Points per Level: 2

+ Int Modifier

Class Skills: Concentration, Handle Animal, Heal, Intimidate, Intuit Direction, Knowledge (Religion), 38

Bleedfor the Faith (Ex): This disturbing ability helps Ghazis gain their reputations. By sacrificing 20 H i t Points, the character may + 2 O to his or her next Attack Roll as though he or she were under the influence of a True Strike spell and scores an automatic Critical H i t if the attack is successful. Essentially, the character abandons any fear and attacks savagely regardless of consequences. T h e Hit Point loss represents wounds sustained o n the way as the Ghazi sacrifices his or her own safety to deliver a devastating blow.

(Knowledge [Religion] ) Feat, Knowledge (Religion) Skill: 5 ranks, Spellcasting: must be able to cast two spells from each of the four elements - Air, Earth, Fire, and Water - at least one of which must be 2nd Level or higher.

H i t Die: d6 Skill Points per Level: 4

+ Int Modifier

Class Skills: Alchemy, Concentration, Gather Information,


Handle Animals, Heal, Knowledge (Law), Ride, Sense Motive, Speak Language, Spellcraft, Use Magic Device.

V@er

of the Four

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Viziers of the Four gain no


proficiency in any weapon or armor.

Class Features: A Vizier gains the Class Features listed below at a rate described on Table 4-5.
Spellcasting (Sp): A Vizier of the Four continues his or her advancement in the use of magic. T h e characters level in Vizier adds to his or her prior level in a spellcasting class for purposes of determining Caster Level and access to spells. T h e Vizier continues casting Divine spells or Arcane magic depending on his or her initial character class. If the Vizier was multi-classed such that he o r she had access to both forms of magic, the character must choose to which class the Spellcasting bonus of being a Vizier will apply. This decision cannot be altered later. Forte (Su): T h e Vizier gains this ability multiple times once for each of the four elements. Each time the character acquires this ability, he or she must choose a new element (Air, Earth, Fire, or Water) in which to specialize. Whenever the character casts a spell from the chosen element, he or she adds a + 2 Mastery Bonus to the DC of the Saving Throw to resist the spells effects. T h e Vizier

T h e Viziers of the Endless Sands are both intelligent and faithful, and, for some, there is no distinction between the worship of the Four (Anlil, Sin, Enhidu or Pavti) and the service of magic, These Viziers are not only members of the intellectual community of wizards and sorcerers, but they also take an active part in the church of the Old Religion (something which does not make them beloved to Table those faithful of JaIlam). Level Attack Although they were once a I I +I common sight among the wizards of the Endless 2 +2 Sands, the Viziers of the 3 +3 Four have become quite 4 +4 rare in modern times. 5 +5 They are made even more 6 +6/+I so by the political pres7 +7/+2 sure of JaIlam, which seeks to eliminate all fol+8/+ 3 lowers of the Old +9/+4 Religion.

49: G h a e Class Features


Fort +2

Ref
+O

Will
+O
+O

Class Features Guardsmans Stance Feat


The Creators Blessing Eye of Faith Darkvision Guardsmans Stance Feat Aura of Defense Bonus Feat Guardsmans Stance Feat Bleed for the Faith Guardsmans Stance Feat

+3
+3

1-0
+I

+I

+4 +4
+5 +5
4-6

+I
+I

+I
+I

+2 +2
+2

+2
+2

Requirements: Non-Evil Alignment, Skill Focus

i 4,

+2

+6

+3 +3

+3
+3

+7

39

Table 4-4:Arcane Elmental Spells


Divine spellcasters who become Viziers use their Domains to determine their access to the appropriate number of elemental spells. Arcane spellcasters may use the following tables. Note that these lists group spells solely by the element they affect irrespective of the spells school. Some elements have no spells at certain levels and a great number at other levels.

receives a +2 Mastery Bonus to his o r her own Saving Throws against spells or damage from that particular element.

1st Level

Fire Spells: Burning Hands, Endure Elements (Fire) Earth S ell: Grease Air Spe 1s: Feather Fall, Jump, Unseen Servant
Water

Spell: Obscuring Mist


Continual Flame, Flaming Sphere, Resist Elements

2nd Level

Fire Spells:
(Fire)

Elemental Zmmunity (Su): At this level, the Vizier chooses and gains one resistance, effectively making him or her a creature of that subtype. T h e character is immune t o damage from attacks whose source is the element of his or her immunity, b u t suffers double damage from attacks of the opposed element, unless a successful Saving Throw is made, in which case the damage is halved. Air is opposed to Earth and Fire to Water for purposes of determining opposed elements. Summon Murdkhoru (Sp): Mardkhora are celestial elementals, capable of many of the feats that their true elemental cousins can perform. A mardkhora summoned by a Vizier of the Four is completely tractable unless ordered to perform some task that directly endangers itself for no cause, or unless ordered to harm (directly or indirectly) a member of the Old Religion. They appear as extremely wise and exceptionally beautiful human children whose skin in luminous, and their true elemental affinity glows within their ancient eyes.
Mardkhora are n o t subservient, b u t are willing companions and allies to the Vizier who sum-

Earth S ell: Shatter Air Spe Is: Levitate, Whispering Wind Water Spell: Fog Cloud

3rd Level

Fire Spells: Fireball, Flame Arrow, Protection from Elements (Fire) Earth S ell: Hold Person Air Spe Is: Fly, Gust of Wind, Phantom Steed, Stinking Cloud,

Wind Wall

Water Spells: Gaseous Form, Sleet Storm, Water Breathing


4 t h Level

Fire Spells: Fireshield, Firetrap, Wall of Fire Earth S ells: Hallucinatory Terrain, Stoneskin Air Spe 1: Shout Water Spells: Ice Storm, Solid Fog, Wall of Ice

5th Level

Earth Spells:

Hold Monster, Passwall, Stone Shape, Transmute Mud t o Rock, Transmute Rock to Mud, Wall of Iron, Wall of Stone Air Spells: Cloudkill, Sending

6th Level

Earth S ells: Flesh to Stone, Move Earth, Stone to Flesh Air Speis: Control Weather Water Spells: Acid Fog, Control Water, Otilukes Freezing
7th Level

Sphere

Fire Spell: Delayed Blast Fireball Earth Spell: Phase Door


8th Level

Fire Spell: Incendiary Cloud Earth S ells: Discern Location, Iron Body Air Spe 1: Demand

9th Level Fire Spell: Meteor Swarm

Earth Spell: Imprisonment

40

omnipotent, but they are loyal and relatively honorable creatures. Mardkhora may be summoned as a standard action requiring no components, and, once called, they will remain for a number of rounds equal t o the Viziers Character Level. Each time the character gains this ability, he or she chooses a mardkhora of a different element. A Vizier cannot summon a mardkhora of a type he or she has not selected.

Table 4c5:K@er Class Features


Level
I
2

Attack

Fort

fif
+O +O

Will
+2

Class Features
Forte, Spellcasting Forte Elemental Immunity Forte Forte Summon Mardkhora Summon Mardkhora Protection of the Old Summon Mardkhora

+o
+I +I
+2

+o +o
+I

+?

3 4

+I +I

+3

+I

+4
+4 +5

5 6

+2

+I
+2 +2 +2

+I
+2 +2 +2

+3

+3 7 Protection o the Old (Sa): At this f +4 level, the Vizier is immune to all +4 Life-Draining effects, and may turn +5 Undead as a cleric of one-half his or her Level as a Vizier. If the character already has clerical levels, he or she adds these levels t o his or her existing ones for purposes of determining effective level to Turn Undead.

+3 +3

+?
+?

+5 +6 +6
+7

New Feats
Bad& Archey [General]
T h e character has mastered the art of mounted archery as taught by the desert tribes of the Badiya.

extremely effective fighting style. They swirl and twist, and cover themselves in shifting robes, making it very difficult for them t o be successfully hit when they are attempting t o dodge. A character with this Feat gains a + 2 AC Bonus against a chosen opponent. Alternatively, the character may select a number of opponents equal t o his or her Dexterity Modifier against whom he or she receives a + I AC Bonus.

Prerequisites: Dexterity I 3 +, Mounted Combat Feat, Mounted Archery Feat, Ride skill: 4 ranks or more. Benefit: T h e Badiya are superb horsemen and supremely
skilled at fighting with archery while riding their exceptional horses. Characters with this feat suffer no penalties for using a ranged weapon from horseback. T h e character also receives a + I Bonus t o all damage rolls.

Gift ofthe Old Religion [Metamagic]


T h e spellcaster has a spell in which he or she is specialized t o a high degree.

Prerequisite: Intelligence I 5

Benefit: T h e character chooses one elemental spell to which


he or she already has access (an Air, Earth, Fire, or Water Domain spell for Divine spellcasters or one listed on Table 4-4 for Arcane spellcasters). T h e character has developed such an affinity for that spell that he or she can swap out another prepared spell for the Gifted one. The swapped spell must be of the same level or higher as the Gifted spell. This Feat may be taken multiple times. Each time, the caster chooses a new spell t o be affected.

Chariot Mastey [General]


The character may more effectively drive a chariot in combat.

Prerequisite: Mounted Combat Feat, Charioteering Skill Benefit: Once per round, if the characters steeds, chariot,
or person are struck in combat while driving a chariot, he or she may make a Charioteering check t o negate the hit where the DC is the number generated on the attack roll.

Guardsmans Stance [General]


The character is capable of resisting harm done to him or her.

Dervish Attack [General]


T h e character is accomplished at twisting and whirling away from opponents making it difficult to hit him or her.

Prerequisite: Constitution 15

+, Toughness Feat

Prerequisites: Dexterity 1 3

+, Dodge Feat.

Benefit: Dervishes are cunning fighters, capable of


incredibly dexterous action. Although they are known t o be accomplished dancers, their dance also makes for an

Benefit: Guards and eunuchs in the Endless Sands are expected to be capable of protecting their charges with their lives. They are specially trained t o resist the effects of pain, damage, and other considerations in order t o defend their posts and save the lives of the nobility

Naming Your Character


If you need some help coming up with a name for your character, weve presented a list below.
Popular female names in the cities: Abia, Abida, Adir, Abeera, Ablah, Abla, Abra, Asima, Asiya, Badia, Badra, Badriyyah, Bahira, Baheera, Buthayna, Cala, Cantara, Dahab, Dalal, Dhuha, Fadwa, Faizah, Falakiyah, Farah, Faridah, Ghadah, Ghaliyah, Ghaniyah, Ghayda, Hadeel, Hadiya, Hamiyyah, Hasna, Hayam, Hayat, Hessa, Hibah, Inas, Inaya, Izdihar, Jala, Jamilah, Karida, Karimah, Lama, Lamiyyah, Latifah, Malak, Malika, Muhjah, Muminah, Nahlah, Najah, Nasira, Numa, Nur, Qubilah, Rawdha, Rayya, Rida, Rihana, Ruwaydah, Sahlah, Saidah, Shadha, Shadiyah, Sumaiya, Shumnah, Tahirah, Takiyah, Talibah, Tarub, Taroob, Thana, Thara, Umayma, Wahibah, Wajihah, Wajeeha, Yaminah, Yasirah Zakiyyah. Popular male names in the cities: Abraha, Abu Bakr, Abu a1 Khayr, Adel, Adham, Altair, Amid, Amin, Bahir, Barakah, Bashsha, Daud, Dharr, Dhul, Fiqar, Fadi, Fariq, Fareeq, Fawwaz, Ferran, Ghiyath, Hajjaj, Hakeem, Hakem, Halim, Hamal, Hamdan, Hamid, Hamzah, Jabir, Jafar, Ja1.1, Jalil, Jaleel, Jamal, Khalid, Khaled, Khalil, Khaleel, Kalil, Khatib, Khair a1 Din, Mashal, Masruq, Masud, Mustafa, Nabhan, Nabih, Nabil, Nabeel, Numair, Omar, Omran, Othman, Qaraja, Qasim, Rabah, Rabi, Radi, Shafiq, Shakir, Sharif, Talib, Tamir, Taysir, Tayyib, Wajih, Wajeeh, Wakil, Yaman, Yaqub, Yasar, Yasse, Zafir, Zahid, Zahir, Zaid, Zayd.

Characters taking this Feat benefit from Damage Reduction 2/+ i for a number of rounds each day equal to their Constitution Modifier per day. These rounds need not be used all at once. They may be used individually whenever necessary throughout the day.

A character may take this Feat multiple times. Each time i t is taken, the character must specify one of the following
additions to the original feat: Employ Damage Reduction an additional number of times per day equal to the characters Constitution Modifier. Increase

DR by

i,

Increase the level of magic weapon required t o bypass the Damage Reduction by I (to a maximum of 5).

Haggle [General]
T h e character is skilled at getting the best prices in the market place.

Prerequisite: Wisdom I 2 +, Diplomacy Skill: 4 ranks

Benefit: Whenever making a purchase, the character may make a Diplomacy Skill check at D C I 5 plus any additional modifiers the GM wishes to add based on the market. If it is successful, the character earns a io% reduction in the price of the item plus an additional one percent for every number by which the Skill check beat the DC. The maximum reduction that can be earned in this fashion is 20%.

Weapon Shield [General]


T h e character may use his or her melee weapon as an effective shield in combat.

Prerequisites: Dexterity I 3 +, Base Attack Bonus

+3

Tribal Names
The following are names of several tribes within the Deep Desert, all known for their ferocity and their courage. There are many thousands of tribes in existence, ranging from the massive traveling caravans of thousands down t o simple families of less than ten. Nomads usually use the name of their tribe as their own last name, so it is often simple to track one down according to their lineage if the nomad chose to use his or her real name when speaking to you. AI-Azamat, Al-Badareen, Al-Btounieh, AlDamanyah, Al-Hajaya, AI-Hudban, Al-Issa, AlJbour, Al-Masaieed, Al-Kaabneh, Al-Qudah, AISarhan, Al-Sharafat, Al-Shriah, Al-Taybeen, AlSuradiyaah, Al-Zbeid, Bani Atiyyah, Bani Saeediyin, Bani Al-Zalabyah, Banu Khaled, Banu Saleet, Banu Manaeen, Banu Nuaimat, Dmaj

Benefit: By expending a Full Action, the character may spin and whirl with his or her weapon so as to p u t up a near
impenetrable shield of flashing steel. H e or she may make an Attack of Opportunity o n any creature moving into, out of, or through his or her Threatened Area. While the character is limited to one Attack of Opportunity per opponent, he or she may make one o n every creature against which it is possible to do so that round.

42

This section of the book contains new monsters t o challenge players in ENDLESS SANDS. There is also a wealth of information on magic in the desert, including a new Cleric Domain. All of the material in this section is designated as Open Game Content.

more private homes of solitary Viziers. In addition, these creatures are capable of detecting beings that would normally be concealed by magical means or by their ethereal state.

The Aethis Hounds were originally created t o serve as faithful pets and guardians in the tower of the Viziers,
but, recently, a few specimens have been sold t o wealthy merchants or given as gifts t o rajahs and sultans of great power and wealth. Intended t o serve as domesticated beasts, they generally d o not reproduce well in the wilderness and can only thrive in selected environments.

New Monsters
Many o f the beasts of the Endless Sands have no counterpart in other realms, and thus they are covered in detail here. These creatures are mostly considered to be monsters - the Children of Fatima - and are quite dangerous.

Combat: The Aethis H o u n d is a faithful and courageous creature who defends its master with its strong bite. When it becomes aware of a threat, it will begin barking loudly with a deep growl, often summoning more powerful guardians as a result.
True Seeing (Su): Aethis Hounds can see as though True Seeing had been cast upon them by a l o t h Level Cleric. Because they use the Divine version of the spell, they can also detect auras and Alignments.

Aethis Hound
S i q : Medium Magical Beast Hit Dice: 1 d 1 0 + 2 (7 Hit Points) Initiative: + 2 (Dex) Speed: 4.0 feet AC: 14 ( + 2 Dex, + 2 Natural)
Attacks: Bite

Skills: T h e sharp sense of an Aethis H o u n d gives it a +4


Racial Bonus to Spot, Track, and Listen checks. They also receive a + 4 Racial Bonus to Wilderness Lore checks when tracking by scent.

4-3 melee ( l d 6 + 4 )

Agiypios
S i q : Large Beast

Face/Reach: 5 feet by 5 feet / 5 feet Special Attacks: None. Special Qualities: Scent, True Sight Saves: Fort +4, Ref 4-4, Will +2 Abilities: Str 14, Dex 14, Con 1 5 , Int 4, Wis 14, Cha 8
Skills: Jump

H i t Dice: 9 d I O + 9 (58 Hit Points) Initiative:

+3

(Dex)

+ 5, Listen +6, Spot +6, Wilderness Lore +7*

Feats: Alertness Climate/Terrain: Subtropical grasslands or any settled area. Organication: Solitary or pack (5-10) Challenge Rating: I Treasure: None Alignment: Always Neutral Advancement: 2-3 HD (Medium); 4-6 HD (Large)
These peculiar creatures have been bred by the Viziers of MaHallam specifically for the purpose of serving as magical watchdogs. Physically they have the lower body of a humanoid with the head, neck, and paws of a wild dog. Their shaggy, mottled fur coat is a mixture of black, brown, yellow, and white markings covering a sleek frame that bears resemblance to a very thin human or a strangely elongated hound. T h e senses of these creatures are exceptionally acute, and they can track even after the scent is old or faded. They are very capable guardians not easily tricked or eluded, and they are typically used to protect the upper libraries of the Two Spires in Ma-Hallam as well as serving in the

Speed: 20 ft., Fly 80 f t (Good) AC: 1 5 (-I Size, 3 Dex, 3 Natural) Attacks: 2 Claws +9/+4 melee (Id6+4), Bite 4-4melee (Id8 + 2 ) Face/Reach: 5 feet by 5 feet / 5 feet

Special Attacks: Snatch Special Qualities: Long Sight Saves: Fort +7, Ref + 9 , Will + 5 Abilities: Str 18, Dex 1 7 , Con 12, Int 8, Wis 14, Cha I O
Skills: Listen +6, Spot + I O , Wilderness Lore + 8

Feats: None. Climate/Terrain: Mountainous or Open Plain Organi<ation: Solitary or Small Group (1-2 adult Challenge Rating: 5 Treasure: None Alignment: Always Neutral Advancement: 10-12 HD (Huge)

+ 1-3 young)

T h e agiypos are large falcons similar t o the rocs of


legend but more intelligent and of smaller size. These giant avians dwell in the mountainous regions of the Endless Sands, hunting deer and other wildlife and

43

occasionally poaching sheep or camels from the wandering tribes of Badiya that move through the area. They lair in great nests built within high caves upon the mountains where they lay eggs and rear their young. These birds appear as hunting falcons with the same marks and coloration, and they are equally adept at striking their prey from the air and carrying it away as their smaller cousins. According t o legend, an ancient hero of the Endless Sands rode upon these birds into battle, striking fear into his enemies and successfully overcoming a massive city many hundreds of years ago. Agiypos can be trained, but it takes a great deal of effort, and the bird must be taken when it is young or preferably in the egg. If the agiypos is left with its own (free) kind for too long, it will quickly revert to its untamed nature.

Combat: An agiypos attacks from the air, swooping downward and lifting its prey from the ground with a jerk
sharp enough t o break the backs of most creatures. Mated pairs attack in concert, often driving their prey toward box canyons or other territory suitable for their assault.

Snatch (Ex): An agiypos that hits a creature of Small or Medium size with a Claw Attack may attempt a Grapple as a Free Action. If successful, it can fly off with its prey. It can drop a snatched creature as a free action or use a standard action to fling it aside (potentially, as an attack). A flung creature travels 40 feet and takes 4 d 6 points of damage.

Organication: Solitary

CR: 4
Tueusure: Platinum Necklace

Alignment: Always Lawful Advancement: 8-10 HD (Large); 11-12 HD (Huge)

Long Sight (Ex): An agiypos has exceptional sight and can


correctly identify prey (or other targets) even from a great distance. This ability allows it to target its prey from within the cover of clouds, or on a mountaintop that is a significant distance away.

T h e Prophet Halajhim was once held prisoner in the


dungeons of Ubar while their imam attempted to force him t o recant his beliefs. Halajhim was tortured, but would not relent, and, in the end, the Creator delivered him from their hands.

Buraq
Si?: Large Outsider

He traveled from Ubar to Quehabat in a single night on a strange winged creature called the b u r a q These beasts are

H i t Dice: 7 d 8 + 2 I (52 Hit Points) Initiative:

+ 3 (Dex)

sent by God t o t h e most faithful, serving as steed for them in order for the imam and ghazi to carry out His will.

Speed: 50 feet, Fly 120 feet (Excellent) AC: 18 (-I Size, 3 Dex, 6 Natural) Attacks: 2 Claws +Io/+5 melee ( I d 6 + 4 ) , Bite +8/+3

The buraq resembles a great winged panther of gold and silver, its body shining in the light of faith. It is larger than any panther, standing as tall as a war horse, with
wings that are formed of golden feathers streaked with silver strands. Around the creatures neck is a platinum necklace touched by the hand of the Creator Himself, and the beasts eyes shine with human intelligence. A buraq is a creature of faith and will not attack unless provoked or unless by doing so it will save the lives of the faithful of JaIlam.

melee (2d6 4-2)

Face/Reach: 5 feet by 5 feet / 5 feet


Special Attacks: Menacing Aura Special Qualities: Healing Touch, Protection from Chaos, Regeneration 3 Saves: Fort

+ 8, Ref + 8, Will +9 +

Abilities: Str 18, Dex 16, Con 16, Int Io, Wis 14, Cha 1 8 Skills: Jump + I + , Listen +I& (Religion - JaIlam) I I Feuts: Iron Will, Multiattack Climate/Terrain: Any
Spot + I 7 , Knowledge

Combat: The buraq is a solitary creature, sent by the Creator t o protect His faithful. It fights with a vengeance t o protect the adherents of JaIlam and will serve loyally as steed and guide to those it has been sent to assist. It avoids harming other Lawful creatures if possible, offering peace in exchange for their retreat or surrender. A buraq will meet a foe head-on if possible, or, if seriously outnumbered,
44

it attempts to retreat with its passengers.

Healing Touch (Sp): A buraq may Lay on Hands as though it were a Paladin of 8th Level. Thus, it can heal 32 H i t Points of Damage per day. Menacing Aura (Su): A righteous air surrounds a buraq when it is defending the faithful. Any hostile creature within a 15-fOot radius must succeed at a Will Save a t DC 15 in order t o approach. Those that fail suffer a -2 penalty t o Morale, AC, attacks and Saving Throws while in the creatures presence. Protectionfrom Chaos (Sp): Three times per day, a buraq may cast Protection from Chaos. Platinum Necklace: T h e platinum necklace worn by a buraq is a holy item, and those who are not devotees of JaIlam take I d 4 points of damage for touching it. The buraq can remove the necklace and give it to anyone i t wishes. Those who are of the Faith may use the necklace to call upon a buraq once per week, summoning the creature forth once more from the lands of the Creator. If the buraq dies, the necklace becomes tarnished and dim, but is still worth 200 dirham for its elaborate quality of construction and the value of the metals.

about their heads in tremendous spirals of shining metal, and it is said that a sounding-horn made from one of them can be heard throughout the Endless Sands.

Combat: Fazokl are shy animals and not prone t o fighting.

If attacked, they will defend themselves and attempt to


flee, relying on their great speed t o outrun pursuers. They can use their ability to become ethereal as a Standard Action and will do so t o escape. If seriously threatened, they lower their heads and charge directly through their enemies, hoping to find a clear path to flee on the other side.

Immunities (Ex): Fazokl are immune to all electricity-based and weather-based effects.

Kadir Jackal
S i q : Large Magical Beast
HitDice: 6dIO+18 (52 H i t Points) Initiative:

+ 5 (+ I Dex, +4 Improved Initiative)


+ +

Speed: 50 feet

AC: 1 5 (-1 Size, I Dex, 5 Natural) Attacks: Bite +9/+4 melee (1d84-6) Face/Reach: 5 feet by Io feet / 5 feet
Special Attacks: Breath Weapon Special Qualities: Fire Subtype, Immunities, Scent Saves: Fort +8, Ref + 6 , Will + 3 Abilities: Str 18, Dex 1 3 , Con 16, Int 9, Wis 1 3 , Cha 10 Skills: Hide +8, Listen + 9 , Move Silently +8, Spot +9, Wilderness Lore + I Feats: Alertness, Blind-Fighting, Improved Initiative

Faqokl
S i q : Large Magical Beast

Hit Dice: j d I o + l 5 ( 3 1 Hit Points) Initiative: 3 (Dex) Speed: 80 feet, Fly I80 feet (Excellent) AC: 15 (-1 Size, + 3 Dex, + 3 Natural) Attacks: Butt 7 melee ( I d4+ 5), 2 Hooves ( I d4 +2) Face/Reach: 5 feet by 5 feet / 5 feet

+2 melee

Climate/Terrain: Desert Organi<ation: Solitary, Pair, or Pack ( 3 - I 0 ) Challenge Rating: 5 Treasure: 1/10 Coins, 50% Goods, 50% Items Alignment: Always Neutral Evil Advancement: 7-9 HD (Large), 10-18 HD (Huge)
These vicious and dangerous predators rule the deep deserts in packs, moving across the sands without fear of the suns wrath. They are creatures of fire, enjoying the extreme heat of the Deep Desert, and they are rarely found outside their wasteland home. Kadir Jackals are predatory beasts, and they will pursue their quarry relentlessly, not giving up the chase until they have brought it down. They are intelligent but feral, and they are quite capable of advanced tactics such as ambushes. Kadir Jackals resemble giant wolves but with thinner, more angular features. Their fur is a sandy brown with soft dark-shaded areas, keeping them camouflaged in the desert sand. Their eyes glow a golden-red. They stand eight feet long and more than 4 feet high at the shoulder, although their bodies are lithe and sleek. 45

Special Attacks: None. Special Qualities: Ethereal, Immunities Saves: Fort

+ 8, Ref + 6, Will + 3

Abilities: S t r 20, Dex 17, Con 21, Int I O , Wis 14, Cha I 8 Skills: Listen + 6 , Move Silently Feats: Alertness Climate/Terrain: Any Organication: Solitary Challenge Rating: 3 Treasure: None Alignment: Usually Neutral Good Advancement: 5-8 HD (Large)
Fazokl are the magical beasts of the wind, symbol of Anlil. He has a herd of them a t each of the four cardinal directions, and he releases them to run from whichever direction the wind blows. Fazokl resemble great silvery rams with sleek bodies and hooves and horns of copper. Their horns wrap

+ 10, Spot +6

From time t o time, Kadir Jackals have been domesticated to serve as war dogs or guardian beasts. This is a dangerous practice, but if they are treated well and allowed to feast on blood and flesh regularly, Kadir Jackals can be adept guardians. They are more willing t o serve in such a capacity for other evil beings, such as the Cult of the Moon or Sand Giants.

Old Religion)

+IO

Feats: Alertness, Dodge Climate/Terrain: Any Organication: Solitary Challenge Rating: 2 Treasure: None. Alignment: Always Good Advancement: 4-7 HD (Medium), 8-12 HD (Large)

Combat: Kadir Jackals commonly hunt in packs. Their size,


cunning, and ability make them excellent predators, and their ferocity makes them exceptionally dangerous. They have a formidable Breath Weapon, allowing them to hunt and kill creatures many times larger than themselves, particularly when fighting in a large pack. Packs prefer t o cut weaker opponents from groups, harrying them and driving them into the deep desert regions for the kill. They will circle a potential prey for some time before attacking, gauging its cunning and ability as well as the risk of danger before they strike.

* - These numbers represent the differences in Elemental types. T h e number before the slash is used for Air and Fire Mardkhora. T h e number after the slash is foe Earth and Water Mardkhora.
Mardkhora are elementals of a celestial bent, directly tied to the creation of the universe and in service to the Four, the elemental gods of the Endless Sands. It is said t h a t they are related to the Djinn, but none of the mardkhora have chosen t o verify that as rumor or as fact.

Breath Weapon (Su): T h e Kadir Jackals Breath Weapon manifests as a cone of blistering sand I 5 feet long. It may employ this weapon every I d 4 rounds. T h e damage of this attack is initially 3d6 with an ensuing I d 6 per round for four rounds thereafter or until the creature affected can remove the blistering sand from their clothing or armor. A Reflex Save (DC 16) will halve the initial damage but will do nothing t o prevent the successive rounds unless the individual affected can remove the stinging sand from their clothing or armor. Kadir Jackals may use their breath weapon while biting.

Combat: In addition t o their supernatural abilities, a mardkhora may communicate with anything formed of its element and can merge seamlessly with such material. They may control the substance even a t a distance of up t o 5 0 feet, making fires dance or leap out of control, causing mild earth tremors or shifting rocks under the feet of a guard, forcing the water of a well to sink and be unattainable, or causing the wind to lift small, light objects and carry them across short distances.
Circle ofProtection (Sp): A mardkhora can create a barrier in a IO-foot radius around itself or a target creature. Those within the circle are immune t o all attacks from the same elemental force as the mardkhora. It offers some protection from the two elemental natures t o which the mardkhoras is not opposed. Characters within the circle are granted a + 2 Saving Throw Bonus and a +2 AC Bonus t o all attacks from those sources. The circle cannot protect the subject from the elemental force to which the mardkhoras is opposed (Fire is opposed t o Water and Air is opposed to Earth. Thus, a Fire Mardkhora offers no protection from water-based attacks). T h e ability also offers protection from Evil creatures as though it were a Magic Circle against Evil. This ability is usable three times a day. Elemental Shield (Sp): Mardkhora can also afford protection in the form of an elemental wall. Three times per day, the creature can create a barrier composed of its elemental force. This barrier can be shaped as a wall, a hemisphere, or any other shape the creature desires. It can cover a maximum space of 30 feet.
An Earth Mardkhoras Shield is comprised of stone. It has a Hardness of 8 and 2 0 Hit Points. It can be pierced by hacking it down eventually. Air, Fire, and Water Mardkhora summon forth spinning 46

Zip (Ex): A Kadir Jackal that successfully hits with a bite attack may immediately try t o Trip the opponent as a Free Action. This attack does not provoke an attack of opportunity. If the attempt fails, the opponent cannot
react to Trip the Kadir Jackal in return.

Fire Subtype: Immune to damage from Fire. Kadir Jackals take double damage from Cold except in a Successful
Save, in which case they take

half damage.

Mardkhora
S i q : Medium Elemental
HitDice: 3d8+6 (19 H i t Points) Initiative:

+2 (Dex)

Speed: 40 feet AC: 18 ( + 2 Dex, + 6 Natural) Attacks: Slam -k 5 melee ( I d6 4-4) Face/Reach: 5 feet by 5 feet / 5 feet
Special Attack: Circle of Protection, Elemental Shield Special Qualities: Elemental Subtype Saves: Fort +3/+5*, Skills: Listen
Ref +5/+3*, Will + 2

Abilities: Str 17, Dex 14, Con 1 5 , Int 14, Wis 12, Cha I 4

+ I I , Spot + I I , Knowledge (Religion - the

walls of their type. To pierce these barriers, a creature must succeed at a Strength check at DC 1 3 . Otherwise, it is buffeted back by the force of the wind, water, or flames of the Shield. Creatures attempting t o penetrate the shield suffer 3d4 points of damage regardless of whether they are successful. Those attempting to pierce a Fire Shield catch fire and suffer an addition I d 4 Fire Damage per round until extinguished.

from the weakened desperation of others. They can be discovered during the day even if they are invisible by locating a spot of unusual coldness - something deeply at odds with the deserts blistering heat.

Elemental Subtype: Immune to poison, sleep, paralysis, and stunning. N o t subject t o critical hits.

Mirage Spirits
S i q : Medium Undead (Incorporeal)
H i t Dice: 5d12 (32 Hit Points) Initiative: +7 ( + 3 Dex, +4 Improved Initiative) Speed: 30 feet, Fly 6 0 feet (Good)

Combat: In close combat, a Mirage Spirit attacks with its numbing touch, Draining the Dexterity of the victim and leaving him or her a slow, chilled shell. Mirage Spirits make good use of their incorporeal nature, flitting among the sand dunes and passing over dangerous quicksand and other traps with ease. Those who are foolish enough t o follow a Mirage Spirit into the desert will die a slow, lingering death from heat and dehydration, lost forever in the Endless Sands.
Mirage Spirits enjoy most their ability t o draw others into the desert, taunting them with the promise of riches just outside their reach. They will use their illusion abilities to indicate water, treasure, or ruins just at the edge of their victims sight, and continue t o slowly move their prey deeper into the desert with false promises of greater things. These illusions are just that, however - dreams that can never be fulfilled. Mirage spirits are not harmed by daylight or other sun effects, and are equally capable in the heat of the desert sun as they are by night.

AC: 17 ( + 3 Dex, +4 Deflection)


Attacks: Incorporeal Touch + 2 melee (Id4 Face/Reacb: 5 feet by 5 feet / 5 feet
Special Qualities: Incorporeal, Subtype, Unnatural Aura Saves: Fort + I , Ref Abilities: S t r -,

+ Dexterity Drain)

Special Attacks: Create Spawn, Dexterity Drain, Illusions

+2 Turn Resistance, Undead


Int 14, Wis 14, Cha 1 2

+4,Will +7

Dex 16, Con -,

Skills: Hide + I O , Intimidate +9, Intuit Direction + 9 , Listen +8, Sense Motive +9, Spot +9 Feats: Alertness, Blind-Fight, Combat Reflexes, Improved Initiative Climate/Terrain: Desert, preferably near dried oases or ruins; also Underground Organication: Solitary, Gang (2-4), or Swarm (5-12) Challenge Rating: 5 Treasure: None Alignment: Always chaotic evil Advancement: 8- I 6 HD (Medium)
Mirage Spirits are the walking ghosts of those poor unfortunates who died in the desert, usually of dehydration or heat exhaustion. Although their bodies are no more than bones swallowed by the scorching sands, their spirits walk on in eternal torment, condemned never t o leave t h e desert that has become their immortal prison. They are incorporeal, creating illusions of water where there is nothing t o be found. They draw others into their own doom, teasing them with the hope of salvation and then shattering their minds as they discover that the water they have seen before them is nothing more than sand.

Create Spawn (Su): Any humanoid slain by a Mirage Spirit becomes a Nemhan Ghul (see below) in I d 4 rounds. Spawn are under the command of the Mirage Spirit that created them and remain enslaved until the death of their creator. They d o not possess any of the abilities they had in life. Dexterity Drain (Su): Living creatures hit by a Mirage Spirits incorporeal touch attack take I d 6 points of Permanent Dexterity Damage. T h e Fortitude Save t o resist this effect is DC 15. I h o n s (Sp): Mirage Spirits can create a variety of illusions t o assist them in their vile plans. They can cast Dancing Lights, Ghost Sounds, and Silent Image at will. Three times per day they can also cast Misdirection and Major Image. Finally, they can cast Hallucinatory Terrain once per day. T h e D C t o resist these spells is 14 the individual spells level.

Incorporeal: Can be harmed only by other incorporeal creatures, + I or better weapons, or magic with a 50% chance t o ignore any damage from a corporeal source. Can pass through solid objects at will, and its own attacks pass through armor. Always moves silently. Unnatural Aura (Su): Both wild and domesticated animals can sense the presence of a Mirage Spirit and will shy away from any contact or close proximity. Utldead Subtype: Immune t o mind-influencing effects, poison, sleep, paralysis, stunning and disease. N o t subject t o Critical Hits, Subdual Damage, Ability Damage, Energy Drain, or death from massive damage.
47

A mirage spirit looks much as it did in life, although now


the body is incorporeal and mist-like. They can be easily recognized by those who knew them. They enjoy the lingering torment that their victims suffer, and they gain strength

Nemhan Ghul
Si?: Medium Undead Hit Dice: 3d12 (19 H i t Points)
Initiative: + 2 (Dex)

Speed: 30 ft AC: I 6 ( + 2 Dex, + 4 Natural)


Attacks: Slam + 2 melee ( I d 6 + 2 + 2 melee (Id6-t-2)

+ Energy Drain) or Bite

Face/Reach: 5 feet by 5 feet / 5 feet Special Attacks: Create Spawn, Delusions, Energy Drain, Ravening Special Qualities: Undead Subtype Saves: Fort + I , Ref +2, Will + 4 Abilities: Str I 3 , Dex 12, Con -,
I n t 9, Wis I 3, Cha I 3

Delusions (Su): Nemhan ghuls can create a delusional effect on their prey simply by being within I O feet of them. T h e presence of the ghul is too awful t o behold and is so antithetical t o all life that the mind instinctively rejects their presence. However, this effect also causes the mind of all those near the ghul to begin having intense delusions and emotional surges that resemble the madness of the desert heat. All those within I O feet of a ghul must make a Will Save (DC 14) each round or they will see vivid hallucinations (pits open before them; their companions turn into vicious monsters; they see the image of someone who is not there, such as a dead love or lost relative). These delusions are up to the GM t o create, but they are always debilitating. Any character attempting t o fight despite the delusions is at a -4 t o AC, attack, and damage. Energy Drain (Su): Living creatures hit by a Nemhan ghuls Slam attack receive one Negative Level. T h e Fortitude Save t o remove the Negative Lvel has a DC of 14. Ravening (Ex): A ghul that hits with its Slam Attack, may make an immediate Grapple attempt as a Free Action and without provoking an Attack of Opportunity. If successful, the ghul may automatically apply its Bite Damage every round t h a t it can maintain the hold. Undead Subtype: Immune to mind-influencing effects, poison, sleep, paralysis, stunning and disease. N o t subject to Critical Hits, Subdual Damage, Ability Damage, Energy Drain, or - death from massive damaze.

Skills: Climb + 5 , Hide + 6 Listen +7, Move Silently +7, Spot 4-6 Feats: Blind-Fight Climate/Terrain: Any Organication: Solitary, Pack (2- I 0 ) , or Gang ( I 0-40) Challenge Rating: 3 Tveasure: Standard, 50% Goods, 50% Items Alignment: Always Neutral Evil Advancement: 4-8 HD (Medium)
The visage of a Nemhan ghul is horrible to behold: deranged, fanged, and scoured raw of flesh with its muscles and skin hanging in lank strips from a twisted form. They retain .~ many of their original appearances and movements reflections of what they once were in life. Wild eyes burn with fanatic hatred, and their claws shine with iron where once there was only bone. They are capable of speech, but their minds are driven mad, and little that they say makes sense beyond conveying their desire to cause pain and eat flesh. Nemhan ghuls lurk beneath cities, in caverns within the desert, in crypts and graveyards, and nearly anywhere else in the Endless Sands. They keep a haven in some dark crypt or cavern, hiding from the sunlight and feasting on the corpses of their most recent victims. Their only real thought is t o destroy all life and t o cover the world in darkness. Nemhan ghuls will often follow a strong leader, particularly if they are cowed and beaten into subservience.

H i t Dice: 6 d I O - k I 8 (51 Hit Initiative:

+4 (Improved Initiative)

eed: 30 feet, Burrow 20 feet AC: 18 (-2 Size, + 9 Natural)

Face/Reach: 5 feet

Combat; Nemhan ghuls attack with their fists and


massive jaws, tearing out the flesh of their opponent in tremendous chunks.

Special Qualities: Tremorsense Saves: Fort f 8 , Ref + 5 , Will + 4 Abilities: Str 21, Dex IO, Con 17, Int

Create Spawn: (Sa): Any humanoid slain by a Nemhan ghul becomes a Nemhan ghul in I d 4 rounds. Spawn are under the command of the ghul that created them and remain enslaved until the death of their creator. They do not possess any of the abilities they had in life.

Skills: Hide
Feats: None

+ 8, Listen +5

4,Wis

Ij, Cha

Climate/Terrain: Any Desert Organication: Solitary or Pair Challenge Rating: 5


48

Treasure: None Alignment: Always Neutral Advancement: 7-IO HD (Huge)


Although are commonly called the sand crocodile, this beast bears little resemblance t o the aquatic lizard whose name it bears. It is a long, leathery animal with a tremendous, toothy snout and strong legs, appearing much like a lizard but with an exceptionally long jaw. Sand crocodiles are the same color as the sands of the desert, and they enjoy burrowing through the loose dunes and burying themselves in the sand during the heat of the day with only their snout peeking above the earth. In this state, they are almost impossible to spot. Mature sand crocodiles are over 12 feet long with four strong legs and a long tail that sweeps behind them t o obliterate all traces of their passage in the sand. They are massive creatures, weighing over 800 pounds, and their flesh ripples with small hairs that they use to sense movement in the wind or on the earth that surrounds them. Sand crocodiles eat decayed organic matter but prefer fresh meat. They only need t o drink water once every three months, and, thus, they can travel even the deepest wastes without the concern for dehydration. Resting beneath the sand during the heat of the day helps them conserve the water within their bodies and retain it for many months between drinking. When sand crocodiles mate, they dig a large pit in the sand near an oasis. In this pit, they lay 5-1 5 eggs, burying them in the sand. Afterwards, the mated pair leaves the eggs entirely alone and never returns. The young are expected to break out of their shell, eat either each other or some desert creature that happens by, and then make their own way in the desert. Sand Crocodile eggs can be sold for up to 100 dirham each on the open market, both for food and as guardians or pets.

its next action. If successful, it swallows the unfortunate creature whole. Once inside, the opponent takes I d 8 + 8 points of Crushing Damage plus Id6 points of Acid Damage per round from within the sand crocodiles stomach. A swallowed creature may attempt t o climb out of the crocodiles stomach with a successful Grapple check, returning it t o the crocodiles massive mouth. A second Grapple check is necessary t o get free of the maw. A swallowed creature may also attempt t o cut its way out of the belly by using a slashing weapon to deal 2 5 points of damage t o the interior of the beast. A sand crocodiles interior can hold one Large, two Small, four Tiny, or eight Fine or smaller opponents.

Tremorsense (Ex): Sand crocodiles can automatically sense the location of anything within 50 feet that is touching the ground.

Zubhair (Sand) Giant


S i q : Large Giant
HitDice: 1 6 d 8 + 8 0 (I52 Initiative: -1 (Dex)

hp)

Speed: 5 0 feet AC: 1 9 (-1 Size, - 1 Dex,

+ 11 Natural)

Attacks: Huge scimitar + 2 1 / + I 6 / + 11 melee (2d8-k I O ) or Rock I I/+6/+ I ranged (2db-k IO)

Fuce/Reach: 5 feet by 10 feet / 10 feet Special Attacks: Rock-Throwing Special Qualities: Rock-Catching, Sand Sweep Saves: Fort

+ 15, Ref +4,Will + 5

Abilities: Str 3 I, Dex 9, Con 21, Int IO,Wis I O , Cha I I Skills: Climb

+ I I, Jump + I O

Feats: Cleave, Great Cleave, Power Attack, Sunder Climate/Terruin: Mountain, Rocky, and Desert

Organication: Solitary, Pair, or Cluster (3-6)


Challenge Rating: 12 Treasure: Standard Alignment: Always Lawful Evil Advancement: By Character Class
Giants are tremendously sized and have equivalent strength, making them exceptionally dangerous and giving them the ability t o wreak havoc with a single effort. Luckily for most of the Endless Sands, the Zubhair Giant clan live deep in the rocky Dhakyah Mountains, coming out into the sand of the desert only occasionally. Still, they do tend to be greedy creatures, often picking up entire caravan wagons and carrying them off to their homes as tribute t o the Zubhair Clan. They have a reputation for their greed and their lust for gold and steel, and they will attack if they feel that they are not being treated with an appropriate amount of fear and respect. Bullies and 49

Combat: A sand crocodile usually lies in wait up t o I O feet


below the surface of the desert sand, waiting until prey is detected. Then it burrows up t o attack and immediately assaults anything nearby. A mated pair of sand crocodiles may lair together during the gestation of the eggs in the females body, but, typically, a sand crocodile attacks alone.

Improved Grab (Ex): To use this ability, t h e sand crocodile must hit with a Bite Attack. If it gets a hold, it deals automatic bite damage each round the hold is maintained. If the sand crocodile is damaged after grasping its prey, it retreats backward down its burrow at full speed, dragging its victim behind it. A victim may escape the sand crocodiles maw with a successful Grapple check. Swallow Whole (Ex): A sand crocodile that has a Hold on its opponent may attempt a second Grapple attempt o n

braggarts, the Zubhair Giants constantly threaten war against the cities of al-Maghrebia, although they have yet t o make good on those claims.

Djinn Base Template


This material is the basis for all Djinn. Each classification (Jann, Ifrit, Ba-jehn, and Yemman) has its own template that adds to this base. All Djinn in ENDLESS SANDS follow this template rather than the ones presented in the standard game.

Size: Medium Outsider Hit Dice: 8d8+16 (52 H i t Points) Initiative: + 3 ( + 3 Dex) Speed: 20 feet, Fly 40 feet (Perfect) AC: I9 ( i - 3 Dex, $6 Natural) Attacks: Slam + 14/+9 melee
(Id8 +9)

Zubhair Giants have a tradition of bragging contests where they tell tales t o one another around the fire, and the one who creates the largest, most outrageous story of his o r her deeds is considered the victor. Several Badiya tribes have stories about a sheik who sat among the Zubhair and told a story so amazing that the giants restored all of his caravan wagons, gave him his freedom, and made a present to him of a horse made of pure gold.

Combat: Zubhair Giants relish physical combat, particularly against those weaker than themselves. They enjoy a game of rock-throwing that usually results in casualties, and they have absolutely n o compunction against using live creatures - or people - as targets in this game. Rock Throwing (Ex): Adult giants are accomplished I Racial Bonus to attack rock-throwers and receive a rolls when so engaged. A Zubair Giant can hurl rocks weighing 40 t o 5 0 pounds each (small objects) for 3 Range Increments.

Face/Reach: 5 feet by 5 feet / I O feet Special Attacks: Spell-like Abilities Special Qualities: Fire Resistance 30 Saves: Fort +8, Ref +9, Will +8 Abilities: Str 23, Dex 17, Con 14,
Int 12, Wis I j , Cha 15

Skills:

Bluff +8, Concentration 8, Diplomacy 8, Escape Artist 8, Gather Information 8, Innuendo+ 8, Intimidate +8, Listen +8, Spellcraft 8

+ +

Rock Catching (Ex): A Zubhair Giant can catch small, medium or large rocks (or projectiles of similar shape). Once per round, a giant that would normally be hit by a rock can make a Reflex Save to catch it as a Free Action. T h e DC is 1 5 for a small rock, 20 for a medium one, and 25 for a large rock. (If the projectile has a magical bonus t o the attack, the DC increases by that amount.) T h e giant must be ready for and aware of the attack.

Feats:

Combat Casting, Dodge, Mobility

Organization: Solitary Challenge Rating: By Classification


Treasure: Standard Coins, double
Goods, standard Items

Alignment: Any Advancement: By Character

Class

Spell-like Abilities: All Djinn can cast the following spells at will: Polymorph Self and Produce Flame. They can cast Invisibility three times per day. The following spells are available to them twice a day: Enlarge, Gaseous Form, Reduce, and Speak with Animals. Once per day they can cast the following: Create Food and Water, Major Creation, Persistent Image, and Wind Walk.

Surd Sweep (Ex): A common fighting tactic among the Zubhair Giants is to sweep u p the sand a t their feet with their sword or their fist, causing a mini-sandstorm that envelops them to their waist, completely engulfing their enemies. This Sand Sweep does no harm to the giant, but all those attempting to fight in the sandstorm have their speed reduced by one-half, and lose all attack and damage bonuses (including Dexterity or spell-induced, but not including any magical bonus granted by a weapon). Further, those engulfed begin to choke to death from the swirling sand and take I d 6 points of damage per round from suffocation. Casters will be unable to pronounce verbal components of spells, and shouting is muffled and choked.

Djinn
T h e magical race of Djinn can be found throughout the Endless Sands, but they are most predominantly clustered in Ma-Hallam. There, they rub elbows with the citys viziers and search for a way back to their mystical homeland. Many legends surround the Djinn. Some say they are the true power behind the throne in Ma-Hallam. Some claim they could open the portal to the Realm of Fire and
50

Sorcery at any time but choose not to for reasons of their own. Still others believe they are agents of God here to test the faithful. Whatever the truth, everyone agrees that they are powerful, and only a fool trifles with them. There are many different natures and kinds of Djinn, and their nobility, the Jann. They are as varied as mortal beings and as unusual in their abilities and interests. Each Djinni makes its own way in this world, and despite, their relative immortality, they can be killed if their opponent is clever and daring. They are dangerous enemies, and, although they prefer solitude, when they band together against an opponent, they can create massive havoc with their immense powers. There are four different types of Djinn: the Jann, or nobility; the evil and malicious Ifrit; the Ba-jehn, who are renowned for their beauty and their grace; and the devious Yemman. There are certain physical differences to distinguish the subtypes, but i t is more likely that a shape-changed Djinn will be very secretive about its true nature and conceal all traces of its physical form. T h e Djinn first came t o the Endless Sands ages before humanity existed. At that time, the desert lands were actually green and verdant, beautiful and filled with life. T h e Djinn roamed the land at will, moving back and forth between the mortal realm and the mystical Land of Fire and Sorcery at will. T h e Djinn were interested in beauty, and they built huge cities whose ruins still stand in forgotten places. Aeons later, there was a great war among their kind, and those who fought in i t were exiled to the mortal realm where their battles destroyed the earth, transforming it into desert. Many Djinn attempted t o flee the hell they had created and escape back into the Land of Fire and Sorcery, but the gate was destroyed, and they were trapped in the Endless Sands forever. All Jann have the following traits in addition to those they gain for being Djinn.
+2 Int, + 2 Dex +2 H i t Dice

Weapon Focus Feat: Jann get the Weapon Focus Feat for free. They must choose a sword as the focused weapon. Skills: Jann gain a +4 Racial Bonus to Knowledge (Arcana) and Spellcraft checks. Grant Wishes (Sp): Jann can grant three wishes to any mortal who captures them or otherwise has power over them. These wishes are extremely strenuous to cast, and there are certain rules inherent in them. A Jann may not grant a wish that directly benefits it in any way, nor may the wishes be used against another Djinni. The mortal cannot wish for more wishes; three is the limit. Once all three wishes have been granted, the individual who received them cannot continue to hold the Djinni in servitude; control is broken, and the Djinni is free. The ability otherwise works exactly like the Arcane Spell, Wish. Challenge Rating: 8

the death of any one of them in the mortal realm is felt

by all others. Although they may not know the individual


als o n the plane knows instinctively that one of their kind has been destroyed forever and will never return to the Land of Fire and Sorcery. T h e destruction of a Djinni by a mortal is almost always avenged; the murder of any Djinni sidered simply part of the

Most Djinn are bitter about this loss, and feel as though they were exiled from paradise. Some had no part in the ancient war, and were simply trapped in the mortal lands due to an accident of fate. Others remember the war all too well, and are still waging it: the Jann against the Ifrit, and their allies fighting aga another for supremacy. They hide among the mortals, encouraging and manipulating them in order to fulfill their own goals: to destroy one another utterly and to re-open the Gate that lies beneath Ma-Hallam.

Jann epitomize the very soul of Djinn culture. They are known as exceptional swordsmen and are almost always well educated. Tall, regal, and elegant, the Jann use their shapechanging abilities rarely and prefer their own form over any other. When they must change, they prefer to take on or other magnificent beast.

All Djinn are immortal unless destroyed, and

51

T h e Jann and the Ifrit began the war that devastated the Endless Sands. It began over the beauty of a Ba-jehn maiden, b u t i t s effects ruined thousands of miles of

All Jfrit have the following traits in addition to those they gain for being Djinn.
+ 2 Int, f 2 Dex

m d their eyes - in any form - glow with the faint ieat of fire. They are uncaring, willing to kill and maim mortals as it suits them to accomplish their goals. Ifrit see the mortal populace of the Endless Sands as an inconvenience. Ifrit fought the Jann in a war that they claim was for the freedom of their race. They tell stories of Jann tyranny and hatred and of the slavery of their people. Yet those who know say that the lfrit attempted t o take over Djinn society in the Land of Fire and Sorcery, and that their eventual goal was no less than the complete enslavement of all other Djinn. There are rumors of their desire to summon a powerful lord of evil.

+ 2 H i t Dice

Bonus Feats: Ifrit receive the Improved Critical and Improved Initiative Feats for free. Skills: Ifrit have a +4 Racial Bonus to Intimidate. Grant Wishes (Sp): Ifrit can grant three wishes to any mortal who captures them or otherwise has power over them. These wishes are extremely strenuous to cast, and there are certain rules inherent in them. A Ifrit may not grant a wish that directly benefits it in any way, nor may the wishes be used against another Djinni. The mortal cannot wish for more wishes; three is the limit. Once all three wishes have been granted, the individual who received them cannot continue to hold the Djinni in servitude; control is broken, and the Djinni is free. The ability otherwise works exactly like the Arcane Spell, Wish. Given their malicious natures, Ifrit have been known to grant a wish that is unfavorable in its outcome but within the letter of the request. They have also been known to turn on their former captors when all three wishes have been granted.

Ba-jehn
T h e gentle Ba-jehn are magnificent to look upon. Their unearthly beauty draws the eye like a magnet, and i t is difficult for any mortal t o truly comprehend the perfection and grace that epitomizes even the youngest of these Djinn. They are artists and courtesans, often secretly using their abilities t o patronize some mortal artist, assisting in the creation a genuine masterpiece. T h e majority of t h e Ba-jehn are deeply saddened by the loss of t h e gate that would return them to the Land of Fire and Sorcery, b u t they try to make t h e best of things by beautifying the Endless Sands. Subtle and sorrowful, a Ba-jehns only solace in this dark mortal world is t o create art or to be in the

land, turning it to dust and sand from the ravages of Djinn sorcery. T h e Jann insist that the war was entirely brought on by the Ifrit, and claim that their only part in the fighting was t o stop their ancient enemies from committing acts of evil and sacrilege, and to prevent the annihilation of the Land of Fire and Sorcery.

1 4

Ifyit
T h e evil and vicious Ifrit are known for their malicious bent, and even the most powerful viziers and warriors Endless Sands give them a wide berth. Their skins are reddish,
52

1
C

beautiful creatures. They can occasionally be found among noble harems, delighting in the decadence and opulence that surrounds them. They had no part in the Ifrit-Jann war and claim t o have been trapped when the gate was destroyed. Of all the Djinn, they are the most compassionate t o the mortals around them and d o not wish to harm them in any way.

Yemman
T h e deceitful and treacherous Yemman are known for their ability as spies and informants. They are quite clever, spying o n all sides and revealing only the information they choose t o deliver. It is said that the Yemman know who destroyed the gate, and t h a t they alone know how it might be opened. However, t h e Yemman have no desire to see it reopened and so they keep this information t o themselves. They were slaves in the Land of Fire and Sorcery, and t o return there would only mean their deaths. Yemman appear t o be the most human of all Djinn, easily masquerading as mortals within the society of the Endless Sands. They are smaller than other Djinn, b u t very intelligent, and they use their minds rather than their weapons t o avoid combat and destroy their enemies.

Combat
Djinn are magical beings who prefer to keep their true nature hidden. They will use their minds as well as their abilities in order to outthink their foes and place them in disadvantageous circumstances. Although most Diinn are auite caDable with weaDons. thev eniov the I I I 1 I ,, hunt and thrill of the fight and, thus, will occasionally allow a noble or powerful combatant to escape as tribute to their amusement. If trapped or genuinely threatened, Djinn will offer gold, jewelry, or even wishes in exchange for their freedom. yemman have a +4 Racial Bonus to the Skills: ~ i ~ Device, l ~ ~ b Escape Artist Gather Information, pick pocket. yemman are

HalfDjinn
Djinn are capable of breeding with mortals, although they rarely choose to d o so. T h e majority of Half-Djinn are descended from Ba-jehn. Many are also noble-born on the human side, owing t o t h e Djinns proclivity for opulence. Half-Djinn may or may not know their true nature because their immortal parent keeps his or her true

53

Hay-Djinn fimplate
Half-Djinni is a template that can be added to any corporeal creature (referred to hereafter as the base creature). The creatures type changes to Outsider. It uses all the base creatures statistics and Special Abilities except as noted here.

identity as hidden from mortal society as possible. T h e mortal parent may not even know. Some of these children are born of violence (Ifrit), others by romantic liaisons (the Jann o r Ba-jehn), and still others of some deep secret o r arrangement p e m m a n ) , but all have similar abilities regardless of the lineage of their Djinn parent. Half-Djinn do n o t age beyond their maturity, and even at extreme old age appear young and beautiful. However, their lifespans are only slightly exaggerated; most die after about I 5 0 years of beauty, vigor, and good health.

Hit Dice:

Same as the base creature or use d8, whichever is higher.

Speed: Same as the base creature. AC: Natural Armor Class


improves by + I

The City o f h e m
T h e City of Irem is very important to the Djinn and their history. Shortly after the gate to the Land of Fire and Sorcery was closed, the two sides of the great jihad decided to meet and discuss their differences and attempt to end the war between them. T h e gathering failed, primarily because t h e Ifrit used the negotiations as an excuse to get close enough to the Jann leaders t o make several assassination attempts. However, the site of the meeting still sands in the deep caverns below MaHallam, and these ancient corridors still house the defunct gate to the Land of Fire and Sorcery. T h e area is known only to the Djinn and a few powerful mortals who have been sworn t o deepest secrecy It is known as the City of Irem, a word that means peace in the Djinn tongue, although it was the site of the bloodiest battle of the war on this plane. Irem a1 Imad (the Pillars of Peace) is the citys full name in Arabic. It was built by a powerful Ba-jehn named Saaddad, Lord of the Five Dreams. T h e bodies of the Muqarribun, a sect of powerful noble Jann who were almost completely eradicated by Ifrit attack, remain in the caverns below Ma-Hallam. They now lie in state a t the heart of the Saadian Tombs, a construction of reverence for the dead that surround Irem and the gate to the Land of Fire and Shadow. It is said that their shades still haunt the Saadian Tombs, protecting the bodies of the Djinn who are brought there to rest and avenging themselves o n any Tfrit foolish enough to attempt to reach the gate at the center of the city. T h e Yemman whisper that the word, Pillars, in the name, Pillars of Peace, has a hidden meaning. Among Djinn mystics, pillar is a code name for elder or old one. T h u s Irem of the Pillars is really Irem of the Old Ones. They say that one of the Muqarribun still lives, and that the Jann control the gate, preventing anyone from returning to the Land of Fire and Sorcery while members of the Ifrit caste still live.

Attacks: A Half-Djinni retains all the attacks of the base


creature.

Damage: Same as the base creature. Special Attacks: In addition to any Special
Attacks the base creature has, a Half-Djinni gains the following:

Produce Flame Half-Djinn may cast this

(SP) :

spell three times per day.


I0 points of Fire Damage they receive in every fire-based attack.

Fire Resistance Half-Djinni ignore the

IO (Ex): first

Alter Self

(Sp) :

Once per day, the HalfDjinni may cast Alter Self. This ability is gained upon the character reaching 4th Level.

Charm Person Usable once per day; (SP) : gained a t 5th Level. Persistent Image Usable once per day; (SP) : gained at 8th Level. Wind Walk (Sp): Usable three times per day; gained at 10th Level. Saves: Same as the base creature. Abilities: +2 Strength, + 3 Charisma Skills: Half-Djinn receive the
same Racial Bonuses to Skill checks as their Djinn parent.

Alignment: Any Advancement: By character class.

54

Magic
Listed below are one new Domain and five new spells for the ENDLESS SANDS setting.

Desert Domain
Deities: Ahuramazda, Anlil, Sin, Enhidu or Pavti

Granted Power: Three times per day a character with


access t o this Domain may Create or Destroy Water. Created water appears exactly as though the character had cast the Create Food and Water spell, except that only water is created. T h e amount of water created is dependent upon the casters level as listed in the Create Food and Water spell. Water destroyed by the character using this power evaporates instantly and is gone. A character can destroy as much water as he or she can create. Characters with access to this Domain also cast all Desert spells at + I Caster Level.

Desert Domain Spells:


I

Silent Image Sandwyrm Protection from Elements Fury of Ahuramazda*

4
5 6 7 8
9

Blood to Sand
True Seeing Destruction Whirlwind Miracle

*-Indicates a new spell unique to ENDLESS SANDS According t o the Ba-jehn, there is another secret within the City of Irem. They call it the Rub a1 Khali, and it is a mystical spell placed upon the city by the Ba-jehn to prevent further destruction or the complete loss of the gate due t o the Jann-Ifrit war. T h e Ba-jehn invented the art of encoding and decoding hidden meanings in mosaic and artistic works. This mystical writing is called Tawil. In that tongue, Rub a1 Khali translates as the Empty Quarter. Within the mosaics and ornamentation of h e m there is a powerful spell of forbidding, effectively casting a Geas spell on all those who enter Irem. This spell prevents them from destroying or causing any damage to the gate that leads to the Land of Fire and Sorcery, and i t also hides its location from all but those with powerful magic such as True Sight. T h e Empty Quarter - the true location of the physical gate - is forever hidden within the city, safe from the treachery of the Yemmam or the violence of the Ifrit. Only a member of the Ba-jehn caste can safely lead someone though Irem to the hidden heart of the city.

Blood to Sand
A h a tion Level: Clr 6, Sor/Wiz 6, Desert 5 Components: Verbal, Somatic, Focus Casting Time: O n e action Range: Touch
Duration: Instantaneous Saving Throw: Fortitude partial Spell Resistance: Yes
T h i s hideous spell calls upon the very nature of the Deep Desert and alters all the water and blood in an individuals body, converting i t into sand. T h e victim is allowed a Fortitude Saving Throw to escape the effect and survive. Failure causes a majority of the blood in the victims body to turn to sand, invoking immediate death. Those who Save take 6 d 8 points of damage. Further, the targets lungs fill with choking sand, and he or she spends two rounds Helpless, coughing it out. After the initial coughing seizure, the individual affected is Dazed for one

55

round. T h e Material Components are a pinch of sand and several drops of blood.

are instantly lost.

Spiritual Shield
Evocation (Force) Level: Clr 2, War 2 Components: Verbal, Somatic, Divine Focus Casting Time: I action Range: Medium ( I O O f t

Fury of AhuramaZda
Evocation (Earth) Level: Clr/Drd 5, Sor/Wiz 5, Earth 5, Desert 4 Components: Verbal, Somatic, MateriaVDivine Focus Casting Time:O n e Action Range: Long (400 feet i- 40 feet/level) Area: Cylinder (20-foot radius, 40 feet high) Duration: Instantaneous Saving Throw: None Spell Resistance: Yes

+ I Oft/lvl)

Effect: Magic shield of force Duration: I round/level (D) Saving Throw: N o n e Spell Resistance: Yes
This spell creates a glowing shield made of pure force which springs into existence at any distance and acts t o protect and defend as the caster directs. It takes the form o f a glowing shield emblazoned with the symbol of t h e casters deity. T h e shield acts as a fighter o f the casters level, and can operate independently once given its initial commands (defend the princess or guard that breech in the wall are appropriate initial commands). T h e shield has n o ability t o think independently or t o cause offensive damage, but i t will absorb damage and prevent Attacks of Opportunity much like a real shielded fighter would do. It grants a total AC bonus t o its position equal t o t h e casters level, and lends a cover basis as if i t were a large metal shield.

A tremendous sandstorm sweeps across the area affected, choking those within its path. The air becomes filled with
debris and those inside are Blinded. They also take 5d6 points of damage from the pounding sand and swirling debris; the damage is 3d6 impact and 2d6 damage from suffocation. T h e material component is a pinch of sand and a lump of clay.

Helm ofthe Dead


Necromancy Level: Clr 7, Death 6, Sor/Wiz 8 Components: Verbal, Somatic, Focus Casting kime: Full round Range: Caster
Target: One dead creature

Sandwym
Evocation Level: Sor/Wiz 2, Desert 2 Components: Verbal, Somatic, Material Casting Time: 1 Action Range: Long (400 feet

Duration: Special Saving Throw: No, special Spell Resistance: Yes

By means of this spell, the caster steals the soul of a


recently dead creature and uses it as a shield t o defend his or her own life-force. T h e spirits thus stolen are bound into a black full-helm that is crafted by the caster for just such a purpose. T h e helm must be a solid piece of armor, and cannot be a coronet or any other minor piece of jewelry.

+ 40 feet/level)

Target/Area: I Creature/Target Duration: Instantaneous Saving Throw: Reflex halves Spell Resistance: Yes
This spell creates a serpent-like creature formed of sand which coils in the casters palm. When released (which can be done immediately, or the spell can be held for a number of rounds equal t o the casters total level), it hurls itself toward its target as a ranged touch attack. T h e serpent is made of blisteringly hot sand, shining golden even in bright light, and capable of creating light equal to a torch in dim rooms.

The spirit taken from the dead is absorbed into the helm,
lending the caster a number of additional H i t Points equal to one half of the creatures H i t Points in life. As long as the caster is wearing the helm, all damage taken is first subtracted from the helm. Once it has been emptied, i t may be recharged with another dead soul but not before. The focus of this spell is a finely wrought helm of not less than 1000 dirham in value. This object must also be blessed by a priest of Fatima. If the helm is permanently or seriously damaged (crushed, melted, etc.), it is ruined completely and must be remade. All hit points within it 56

If the serpent hits, it does I d 4 points of Heat Damage per caster level (max. I5d4). A successful Reflex Save
halves the damage. Thereafter, the serpent explodes

upon contact, and the heated sand drifts beneath armor, clothing, and into the individuals eyes. T h e target continues to take half the original damage of the spell per round for I d 4 rounds, or until he or she has been immersed in water or removed all vestments.

New Magic Items


Presented here are several new Magic Items unique t o the ENDLESS SANDS setting.

captain. T h e most powerful captain on the Bitter Ocean is known as the Pirate King and carries an artifact that has been passed down, looted, and stolen among the pirates of the Bitter Ocean for more than three hundred years. This belt appears to be an ornate strip of leather, gilded and covered with gold and engraved with pirate ships at war.

T h e belt offers several benefits t o its wearer. First, it


grants a

+ I AC Bonus. Additionally, it offers + I 5

Abouniehs Tapesty (Fhing Carpet)


This variant of the Carpet of Flying is unique to the Endless Sands. It offers not only travel speed and endurance but also protection and stealth. The tapestry is magnificent in design, often depicting some legendary battle or scene from myth and has the capacity t o carry a great deal of weight. In addition, it also has the ability t o render its riders and contents invisible exactly as if the Arcane Spell, Invisibility had been cast on them. Finally, the rider and any cargo are protected by a Minor Globe of Invulnerability that surrounds the carpet.

Magical Bonus to all Jump checks. Finally, it adds +4 to the wearers Constitution (including extra Hit Points) so
long as it is worn.

Caster Level: 8 th Prerequisites: Craft Wondrous Item Market Price: 5 600 dirham

Weight: 1.5 lb.

Black Steel Falchion


Black steel falchions are the common weapon used by the Cult of the Moon (see Part 6). Although these weapons are most often used by the Cult, they are not holy items per se, nor are they in any way blessed by Fatima. T h e Cult of the M o o n simply has the ability and the materials to make these exceptional weapons, and thus, they are more common among the cultists than anywhere else in the Endless Sands. Those who openly wield such weapons always come under some suspicion; even the most sheltered city-dwellers know what it means to be Fatimas child.
Black Steel Falchions are + 2 weapons and further grant the wielder a +4 AC Bonus against all attacks anytime the wielder is fighting beneath (that is, touched by) the light of t h e moon.

Caster Level: I 2th Prerequisites: Craft Magic Arms and Armor Market klue: 32,375 dirham

Caster Level: 7 t h Prerequisites: Craft Wondrous Item,

Wekht: 16lb

Fly, Permanency, Invisibility,


Minor Globe of Invulnerability

Belt o the Pirate King f


T h e pirates of the Bitter Ocean are ruthless and vicious, but they have their own sense of honor. Although they do not grant any respect t o those who dwell on the land, they respect each other and are well known by the name of their ship and the power of their

Capacity

Speed
250ft 200ft 150ft

Weight

Market Price
2 I ,000 dirham

3ft by 5 ft
6ft by I o ft

5001b I5001b

51b
81b 12lb

5 3,000 dirham
60,000 dirham

57

Fatimas Hand
This powerful mace is wielded by the primary followers of Fatima, and only six are known to exist. They act not only as weapons, b u t as holy items for their casters, granting a I Spell Level Bonus to the individual wielding such a weapon, so long as he or she is a devotee of Fatima.

enchantment that will re-open it. Only the Yemman know how this may be done.

Scimitar

of Flame

Initially, the weapon acts as a simple + I mace, and offers its spell bonuses to any wielder who is also an imam of Fatima. If the wielder of the mace is hit by an opponent, its actual enchantment is activated, providing an additional + I to attack, damage, and to the wielders Constitution (adding additional H i t Points for the duration of the combat). T h e bonuses to attack and damage apply only against the foe that activated the weapons hidden powers, but they last for the rest of the combat. For each strike that the target opponent makes successfully against the wielder of the mace, the weapons bonuses rise by an additional I , up to a maximum of 5. T h e bonuses granted by the mace are erased when the combat is finished, the opponent is destroyed, or the moon sets each evening.

T h e Scimitar of Flame is similar to a Brilliant Energy weapon, except that the energy is instead fire. T h e hilt of the weapon is the only piece of the item that is made of metal; all other parts of the blade are formed of solid fire. When it is not activated, the fire vanishes, and only the bronze and jeweled hilt remains. This hilt can be concealed in a large pocket or small bag. When the hilt is held and the sword activated by use of a command word, a scimitar blade of flame bursts o u t o f the hilt and ignites into the air. T h e weapon acts as a normal scimitar, but i t is a + 2 magical weapon, and i t adds an additional I d 6 points of Fire Damage t o any successful strike. Those struck must make a Reflex Save a t DC I j or catch fire themselves. Burning creatures take any additional I d 6 points of Fire Damage every round the flames are n o t extinguished.

Caster Level: 16th Prerequisites: Craft Magic Arms and Armor, Brilliant Energy Market Price: 72,000 dirham

Caster Level: 3 rd Prerequisites: Craft Magic Arms and Armor, Bless,


Endurance

Market Price: 20,000 dirham

Weight: 4lb

Weight: 12lb

Turban of al-Kharajah
This magical turban is the crown of the Kharajah Regime, the rulers of al-Maghrebia. T h e turban is made of fine white silk, perfectly tied and shaped, and upon the brow shines a large orange star sapphire - a oneof-a-kind stone surrounded by the exquisite feathers o f royal peacocks. T h e wearer of this turban is imbued with a + 4 Magical Bonus to Charisma, and a + 4 Skill Bonus to Intimidate and Sense Motive checks. It further confers upon its wearer all the effects of Nondetection as per the spell of the same name.

Jewel

o f the Conqueror (Artifact)

The Jewel of the Conqueror is a tremendous star sapphire formed of a single massive dark blue stone. It is larger than a childs head and radiates eldritch power t o even those who have no ability to sense the presence of magic. All Djinn in the service of al-Maghrebia come o n the first day of each year to worship the Jewel of the Conqueror and leave sacrifices within the chamber that houses the gemstone. Their petitions of gold and magical artifacts are left in the room for the duration of one month (the holy month of Idul-Halij), and are then taken t o the Royal Treasury. T h e Jewel is currently being kept in a room of the Royal Palace of the Kharajah, Sultan of al-Maghrebia. This sapphire has multiple abilities. First, anyone holding it is immune t o the magic and abilities of all those with Djinn blood. Secondly, the wielder may command any Djinni into service (Djinn being controlled may make a Will Save at D C 2 j to resist such commands). Thirdly, the sapphire will allow the holder to successfully navigate the Djinn city of Irem, ignoring the Geas placed upon it by the Ba-jehn, thereby enabling him or her t o discover the gate to the Land of Fire and Sorcery. T h e gem is (although most Djinn do not know this) a key to opening the gate and is necessary for the restoration of the

Caster Level: 8th Prerequisite: Craft


Wonderous Item, Charm Person, and Nondetection

Market Price: 68, I 6 0


dirham

Weight:2.51b

58

This portion of the book is the GM dedicated to fill out the ENDLESS SANDS setting+ It features a villainous
- the
Of

monstrous races and their abilities. T h e Cult of the Moon is fanatical. Its members are willing t o give their lives for the cause of eradtcating JaIlam. In their final transmutations, some are truly beasts with little ability t o rule their own actions. They must be kept on chains and are released only at the will of the imam. Strangely, those who are chosen by Fatima as her true priests are never given such mental disfigurements; although they may change physical form into monstrous beings, they will always retain their human mind and morality.

adventure hooks to get you started.

the Moon -and

The

.f the

T h e Cult of the Moon is comprised of those outcast priests of the Goddess Fatima who have banded together with the faithful of their religion. While the priests of Ahuramazda preach tolerance for the new religion of JaIlam, their counterparts in the

Creating Children o Fatima f


Characters who are not imam of Fatima may choose t o open themselves t o her power t o gatn special enhancements if they are a member of the Cult of the Moon. Those who do SO automatically lose Some of their Intelligence. Roll I d 6 and consult Table 6-1, applying the results immediately. This loss is permanent.

Table 6 4 : Intelligence Loss


Die Roll
f Points o Intelligence Lost

Next, the character makes a Fortitude Save at DC 20. If i t is successful, consult Table 6-2: Minor Changes to determine what happened. I j it is failed, the character must make a Will Save at DC 25.
Those that succeed consult Table 6-3: Moderate Changes for the results. Those that fail must use Table 6-4: Major Changes. Some of the entries on the charts require further explanation. These are listed below.

Fatima is a powerful goddess, and one that is best not angered. Her children are comprised of all of the desert monsters as well as a substantial portion of human followers, and she is still revered among the Badiya as a protective (if jealous) goddess. Those who follow her cult are taught the stealthy arts of assassination and subterfuge, and they are instructed in poisons, herbology, and medicine. Because many of Fatimas worshippers open themselves to her magic and her presence, many of them are twisted and monstrous in their own right - even if they once may have been quite human. Some of the members of the Cult of the Moon have vestigial limbs, strange eyes or extra mouths o n the surface of their skin, or other deformities. Some are twisted into monsters, and others become new manifestations of Fatimas Curse all on their own. GMs may use the tables below t o help create these new

I
2
3

Result
Bite

4
5

Fearsome Bay ?/Day Horns

7
8
9
IO

59

Bite: T h e character gains a Bite Attack according to its size. Small creatures Bite f o r id4 points o f damage. Medium creatures Bite f o r id6. A Large character inflicts id8 points of damage with its Bite Attack. Breath Weapon (Ex): The creature is able to breathe fire in a I 5 foot cone. This weapon deals id6 points o f damagef o r every three H i t Dice the creature has. It can be used three times per day. Carapace: T h e characters body becomes covered with a
hard, chitinous carapace that protects him or her from harm, but which also causes him or her to look very strange. The shell is permanent, it increases the characters Roll I d 8 and consult the table below for the transformation to the character.

D i e Roll
I

Result
Carapace Compound Eyes Jackal Head Prehensile Tail Quills Vestigial Arm Vestigial Leg Wings

Natural AC l +8, but drops the M a x i m u m D e x Bonus to +z. y Claws: T h e character grows claws from the ends of his or her fingers. These weapons inflict i4 points of damage. d Compound Eyes: Characters with this enhancement have
their regular eyes replaced with two enormous compound ones that sit on the top and sides of their heads. This has

5
6

7 8

the eflect of enabling the character to see i n wey direction, making it impossible to Flank him or her. The eyes alsogrant the character Darkvision at a range o f 60 feet. Fearsome Bay (Su): Three times per day, the Child of Fatima can utter a blood-curdling howl. All creatures within 30 f e e t must make a Will Save at i o half the creatures H i t Dice or fall under the effects of Fear.

Table 6-4: Major Changes


D i e Roll Result
Drider Fomorian Ghast Ghoul Giant Scorpion Kadir Jackal Nemhan G h d Spectre Vampire Roll Twice on Table 6-3

I
2

3
4 5 6 7 8
9
IO

ficult to remove. Targets must make a Reflex Save at DC i or o sustain an additional id3 points o f damage when pulling the quills out. Quills have a Range Increment o f t w o feet.

Spiderclimb (Ex): This ability can be used at will. It is


otherwise identical to the spell of the same name.

60

serves as his or her Caster Level.

Adventure Hooks
T h e following pieces are short ideas to get you started in your ENDLESS SANDS adventures. Youll need to develop

Vestigial Arm: T h e character grows another arm. This arm can be used in any way the others are. It can hold a weapon and wield it, but i t suffers the usual penalties for fighting with two weapons. Two- Weapon Fighting and Ambidextrous can be used to overcome these penalties.

them

fully yourself,

The Crown Ofthe J a m


T h e PCs are in league with a Badiya tribe, whom they owe a favor. They are asked t o escort a Bedoul across the Deep Desert into Ma-Hallam. T h e Bedoul is carrying a precious crown which contains the spirit of a longdead Jann. T h e Ifrit know about the crown, and want it for themselves partially out of spite and partially because they believe they can use the crown t o control other Jann. If taken to Ma-Hallam, will be given to a group of Good-aligned viziers known as the White Crows (who are working with Jann) and put t o rest in the city of Irem. If not, it will be lost t o the ands of the Ifrit, and the Endless Sands will be

Vestigial Leg: Another leg sprouts from the creatures hip, giving it a wider base. Increase the characters Dexterity by + Ibut decrease his o r her Speed by 5feet. Balance checks gain a 8 Racial Bonus.

Wings: T h e Child of Fatima


grows two leathery bat wings from his o r her back. These wings enablejigbt at 40 feet, with Poor Maneuverability. Note that a character can gain more than one enhancement. Each time he or she opens himself or herself to Fatimas touch, roll to see what happens. All efects on the charts are cumulative. Thus, f a i Medium-siyd character rolls Increase Si& twice, he or she grows to Huge s i y since the character growsjrst to Large and then to Huge. Characters that roll on Table 6-4 are instantly transformed into the monster listed. They can no longer open themselves up t o Fatimas touch as they have become too monstrous to be receptive t o it any longer. T h e sole exception is if they rolled the Roll Twice on Table 6-3 result.

Seahawks The PCs are traveling by boat in the Bitter Ocean when a storm blows them off course and into an area of the
ocean said to be haunted. A number of ships have disappeared here, and none of the pirate factions have claimed responsibility (an unusual event - typically, pirates are prone t o overly brag about their accomplishments, not keep them silent). When the captain forces the ship on, the crew mutinies. After dealing with the uprising, the PCs find o u t what caused the ships to disappear: an island in the area is inhabited by agiypios.

Combat
In combat, the Cult of the Moon is fanatical. Its members

will kill all those opposed to them and rarely have any interest in prisoners or in hostages. They are interested
in causing a great a m o u n t of pain t o the followers of JaIlam, and they will occasionally take them back to their lairs in order to sacrifice them properly to Fatima. They like to attack when they have the advantage of numbers, and, in particular, will do so when it is nighttime if a t all possible. They are knowledgeable in guerilla warfare and in diversionary tactics, and they use intelligent means t o kidnap or destroy the followers and priests of JaIlam if such people come i n t o their territories. They rarely prepare traps, but they are quite familiar with the Deep Desert, and may have secret entrances into their lairs which are covered and hidden by the desert sands.

Beauty and the Beast


While haggling in a bazaar, a PC mistakenly buys a carpet
very cheaply. T h e carpet is tattered and worn, but hidden within it is a ring containing a beautiful Ba-jehn. She begs the character to help her seek her freedom - the merchant is a very cruel man and has been keeping her as a slave. As soon as he realizes his mistake, he will certainly come searching for her and for the character who bought the carpet. Will the PCs help her, o r leave her to her fate?

The Assassination Game


T h e party rakes its rest in an inn in the city of DiralC. When they awaken, a kris dagger lies on the pillow beside one of their heads. The warning can only mean one thing:

61

an assassin of the Sepharine is on their trail. But who sent the assassin, and why would a hired killer warn the PCs first? T h e answer: the Sepharine are undergoing a critical civil war, and the death of the PCs figures heavily into determining the new Master of the Streets. Theyve been chosen as targets for a great game: whoever kills them will achieve the title and the leadership of the guild - unless the contract is broken.

The Claim Jumpe


A Badiya warrior offers the PCs a ludicrous sum t o escort him t o the ruins of Ubar. He claims to have a map that shows the location. H e says that he is descended from the Last Caliph of Ubar, and that his family has passed down secrets about the city and its lost treasures from generation to generation. Now he has decided to claim his heritage; hes willing t o pay the characters handsomely to help him d o just that. However, once inside the ruined city and trapped there by a landslide, he reveals the truth: he is nothing more than a simple thief from Yedja-Alit, hoping t o make his fortune with a map he stole from a tourist. H e has no idea who the tourist was, or why he was carrying such a valuable map, nor does he know anything at all about the mysteries and dangers of Ubar. Good luck.. .

The Princess o Madness f


The youngest daughter of the Rajah of Ma-Hallam, a
beautiful princess named Mieya Khadema mahIleyah alMansour, has gone mad. She is seeing visions of Fatimas wrath, and claims that she is a seer destined t o lead the world into darkness. T h e Rajah is notably distressed, particularly because his daughters madness will likely prevent her upcoming marriage to the Prince of Quehebat. Quietly, he hires the PCs to look into her insanity and find some sort of cure before the wedding. The Princess has actually been affected by an Ifrit who wishes her for himself and has cursed her. T h e madness is caused by a potion she drank, and the only cure must be made from herbs that only grow in the Saadian Tombs.

Something in the Water


A dead body is found
in the Rakeshian Baths completely drained of blood and strangely greenish. It cannot be identified as a citizen of Ma-Hallam, nor can the workers a t the baths remember that individual entering their establishment. Two days later, another body is found, and the Rakeshian Baths begin losing patronage. They call o n the PCs to solve the mystery, and, in t h e end, root out the Nemhan ghuls that are inhabiting the sewer channels near the baths who are dumping their blood-feasts into the water supply.

A Giant Problem
In the Deep Desert, something is stirring. A tribe of Zubhair Giants has begun t o march toward Dirali and appears serious about exterminating all those who live in the small city. T h e giants must be stopped or turned aside somehow, or the city will be crushed.

The Lost Tribe


The Cult of the Moon has captured an entire Badiya tribe - one that was to arrive in Quehabat with tributes. The men and young warriors are going t o be brainwashed; the women and children will be integrated as slaves into the cult or murdered as sacrifices to Fatima. Can the PCs find the lost tribe and save them?

Jihad
T h e Mosque of JaIlam in Quehabat has declared a formal jihad against all the practitioners of the Old Religion. All imam within the city who are not in service t o JaIlam are being hanged or burned a t the stake, and the city is in a religious frenzy. Quehabat is about t o erupt into a civil war, and the Grand Sultan is not involving himself o n the issue, having apparently been blackmailed by his faith into silence. If the jihad continues, the Badiya tribes will become angered that their religion is being assaulted, and that could plunge the entire nation of al-Maghrebia into war. T h e PCs must find some way t o appease the mosque but end the purge.

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